Preliminary numbers show breakdown of citations over Oktoberfest weekend

Oktoberfest organizers estimate that 100,000 people take part in the Maple Leaf Parade every year, that’s double the population of La Crosse.

With so many people in town, that means the police department and ambulance teams expect a busy weekend and this year, was no different.

At this weekend’s Oktoberfest, it’s clear to see that many in La Crosse were having a good time.

“Some People have too much fun,” said Cpt. Jason Melby of the La Crosse Police.

La Crosse police were issuing citations this weekend to ensure the event was under control for those having too good a time.

“We understand there’s going to be drinking, partying, but we always want to keep it so it’s an acceptable level.”

The preliminary total of citations this weekend show 146 tickets for underage drinkers, 21 fines for public urination, and 26 citations for an open container. These numbers aren’t final, as some cases are still being worked on.

“We still have officers completing reports and doing paperwork.”

“As far as this year we’ve seen more in the past years but it was a busy weekend,” said Kent Stein, Operations Manager for Gundersen Tri State Ambulance.

Gundersen Tri State Ambulances were also busy this weekend, with 201 total requests of either ambulances, a bike team, or a supervisor. That’s almost a 40% increase in calls from last year.

“It was busier than we thought but it wasn’t all that surprising,”said Stein.

Increased staffing helped keep ambulances available.

“Basically everybody comes in, and we all just hold on and make it through the weekend,” added Stein.

Police also beefed up their staff.

“It’s not uncommon for us to have 50 to 60 officers to supplement us.”

And although Oktoberfest is done for another year, they’re already looking ahead.

“We’re starting to plan for next year,” added Melby.

La Crosse Fire Department said they had 118 requests for service over the weekend.

News 8 contacted the Oktoberfest office, and they were unable to confirm attendance at this year’s fest, as they’re still cleaning up the grounds and counting the numbers.

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