La Crosse’s Rotary Lights display opens for 28th year

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — For many Coulee Region families, the opening night of Rotary Lights kicks off the holiday season.

Santa flipped the switch on this year’s display Friday and the La Crosse Skyrockers lit up the sky to celebrate the tradition– now in its 28th year.

Rotary members and volunteers spent weeks stringing lights and putting up holiday decorations throughout Riverside Park. The display gets bigger and better every year. This year it includes more than 3 million lights.

Between now and January first, families can walk, drive, or take a carriage ride through the park to celebrate the season, the community, and one another.

“It brings a lot of cheer to the downtown and definitely the families change over the year because you see more and more new generations come down to watch the parade,” Rotary Parade Chair Tim Ehlers said.

More than 40 floats made their way through downtown La Crosse and into the park to get the opening ceremony started.

The goal of Rotary Lights is to “feed the hungry of the Coulee Region”. You can help by making a cash donation, or by dropping off non-perishables as you leave the park.

Over the last 27 years, volunteers have collected more than 4.8 million food items. They hope to top 5 million this year.