Time to say goodbye: Hiawatha Statue to be removed from Riverside Park Monday morning

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT)– The Hiawatha Statue in Riverside Park is coming down Monday morning.

Jay Odegaard, the Director for La Crosse’s Parks and Recreation Department, confirms to News 8 Now that the park will be closed during the statue removal due to safety concerns.

The statue has long been controversial with many calls for its removal over the years. There have been many discussions between city leaders, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin and the late-artist’s family to determine what to do with the statue.

The La Crosse Board of Park Commissioners voted unanimously in mid-July to remove it from the park. However, at the time, no timeline for project was given.

A press conference is scheduled for 9 a.m. Odegaard said he would share more information at that time.