Road work causes problems for Riverfest attendees

Riverfest is about celebrating America’s independence, showing appreciation to our military and family.

This year, though, getting to Riverside Park for Riverfest is more difficult because a few of the main roads into the park are under construction.

Second Street between La Crosse and State streets and State Street from 2nd into the park are ripped up, taking away parking spots and access into Riverfest.

Susan Arentz parked in a ramp about five blocks away. She got to her spot about 10:45 a.m. and she said within 15 minutes, spots in the ramp were tough to come by.

“We waited for my daughter to come and by the time she got here, all the parking was completely gone in that parking ramp,” Arentz said.

Jim Guzowski is returning to La Crosse after moving to Florida 11 years ago. Since he moved, plenty has changed, he said, and with the road construction it took his family even longer to find a place to park in a somewhat unfamiliar town.

“As we were coming through a little construction, that’s typical, but we could easily see that there really wasn’t enough ample space, which really forced us to spend a lot of extra time that we didn’t think we would have to spend searching for a place,” Guzowski said.

Riverfest volunteers, however, are trying to help get you to the festival as best they can.

“We also have several carts out and about trying to help people get in if they need a ride or anything like that,” said Berb Frahm, president of Riverfest.

Frahm said the easiest access to Riverfest is paying $5 to park on the Oktoberfest grounds.

Frahm hopes people won’t be discouraged by the road construction, but does expect it to affect attendance a little.

Arentz said the extra walk wasn’t a big deal for her and her family, but she recommends planning ahead.

“Everything has been really nice down here. The kids did the bounce house, we had some really great food, I would encourage anybody to come down,” Arentz said.

Parking at the Oktoberfest grounds is actually a fundraiser for Mary Mother of the Church.

Frahm said Riverfest volunteers are doing their best to save as many handicap spots close to the fest grounds as possible.

The city of La Crosse reminds drivers that it doesn’t cost much to park in the ramps and ramps are free most of the day on weekends.