Police, volunteers prepare for La Crosse’s Riverfest weekend

Buttons cost $10 at the gate

While Operation River Watch is not in effect this summer, additional police officers will be patrolling this weekend during Riverfest.

During the five days of the fest, the La Crosse Police Department will have extra officers patrolling Riverside Park. The paired officers will be available to help fest-goers, as well as make sure they stay safe.

Officers say they don’t expect many problems.

“People are just there to have a good time, and that’s normally what we see. Every once in a while there may be someone who wants to try something different, or may be from out of town, and they want to jump in. They just don’t realize how deep it is and obviously how sharp those rocks are,” said La Crosse Police Department Community Policing Officer Brooke Pataska.

The officers aren’t the only ones preparing for a weekend of festivities. Hundreds of volunteers are finishing setting up tents and stages ahead of tomorrow’s kick- off, and as festival organizers will tell you, it’s all thanks to all the volunteers.

“We have hundreds of different groups that come in. I would say at least 500 different individuals. Our volunteers that work on the board have been here anywhere from 12 to 16 hours a day. Without them this festival wouldn’t happen,” said Riverfest La Crosse Director of Media Brent Hanifl.

Riverfest begins Friday at 7 in the morning, and wraps up with a fireworks display the night of the 4th of July. Buttons are available at Kwik Trip and Festival Foods locations for $7 in advance, or you can purchase them at the gate for $10.