Last day of 2011 Oktoberfest

LA CROSSE, Wis. — The 51st year of Oktoberfest wrapped up on Saturday.

After several days of heavy rain during the week, there were clear skies for the final day of festing.

Dozens of people gathered in the bier hall to watch the Milwaukee Brewers playoff game against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The game was shown on a 16 foot screen.

Also, Oktoberfest was presented with an automated external defibrillator or AED. It will remain on site for future festivals.

Last weekend, a man went into cardiac arrest while watching the Maple Leaf Parade. Paramedics used an AED to help save his life.

The money to buy the device was donated by 95.7’s the Rock Foundation and the 7 Rivers Chapter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

“We were reminded last week just how fragile life can be and how an AED can literally make the difference between life and death,” said Jean Taylor, the program director for 95.7 the Rock.

“The Maple Leaf Parade incident is a clear example of how an AED saves lives. With all the people that come through and visit Oktoberfest, it’s good that they have one down here now,” said Warren Thomas, with the 7 Rivers Chapter of Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association.

People who were at the last day of Oktoberfest also had a chance to learn about it’s history.

One of the old concession stands was been converted into “Festland.” There you can look at hundreds of old pictures, beer steins, and festival buttons.

Organizers say they are planning on expanding the display and making it a permanent part of the festival.

“Hopefully in the future, we’re going to have a semi-permanent structure down here,” said Howard Voss, the 1995 Festmaster.

Voss says he would like to see the display open to school groups year-round.

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