Oktoberfest 2016 parade marshals announced

Brad Quarberg, Louie Ferris to serve as Maple Leaf, Torchlight parade marshals

Oktoberfest is a little more than two weeks away, and this year’s Royal Family is starting to take shape.

This year’s Special Fester was announced earlier in the week, and this year’s parade marshals were revealed at a ceremony Wednesday night.

Korean War Veterans Association president Louie Ferris will serve as marshal for the 2016 Torchlight Parade. Ferris was instrumental in creating a Korean War Veterans Memorial at Veterans Freedom Park on the north side, where he’s lived for most of his life.

“(I was) born in the north side, I sleep in the same house, same bedroom and same old iron bed I was born in,” said Ferris. “Can’t get much more north side than that.”

Brad Quarberg will serve as this year’s Maple Leaf Parade Marshal.

He’s worked at UW-La Crosse for more than 30 years and has been an active member of the Valley View Rotary Club.

He says it’s an honor to serve as Maple Leaf Parade Marshal and represent the La Crosse area.

“I call it home, I’ve called it home for many many years, and it was a great place to raise my family, it still is and just really humbled to be offered this position,” said Quarberg.

However, both Ferris and Quarberg say it did take some convincing before they agreed to their new posts.

“What talked me into it was representing the north side,” said Ferris. “That was the secret weapon they used.”

Quarberg says he had to ask for permission from someone else before accepting his marshal position.

“Of course, I had to talk with my wife first to make sure that she was okay with it,” said Quarberg. “After I told her I’d buy her a new dirndl, she was fine.”