Northside Oktoberfest grounds will be alcohol-free, community-centered

LA CROSSE, Wis. — Oktoberfest is revamping its northside grounds for this year’s celebration.

The grounds will now be known as the “LHI Community Festplatz,” and will be alcohol-free and host family-friendly events during Oktoberfest 2012. Festers also won’t need a button to get into the northside grounds during Oktoberfest, which runs September 28 to October 4.

“For years there have been discussions about changing the look and atmosphere of our Northside Festgrounds and this year, we are fortunate enough to have sponsor support to put the plan in action,” says Tina Severson, Executive Director of Oktoberfest.

Along with the name change, Borton Construction and Foster Awning are partially wrapping the grounds in a material that will provide protection from the wind and other elements.


Severson says Oktoberfest is also partnering with several local organizations to provide family-friendly activities at the northside grounds.

“We are thrilled that Oktoberfest will be providing an area that is alcohol-free and open to everyone,” says says Catherine Kolkmeier, Director at the La Crosse Medical Health Science Consortium and a member of the Changing the Culture of Risky Drinking Behavior Coalition. “This will provide yet another choice for people looking for ways to enjoy the fest without drinking.”

“The La Crosse Area Family YMCA is very pleased to be partnering with Oktoberfest to be a part of the family friendly, alcohol-free activities on the northside fest grounds,” says Bill Soper, Executive Director of the La Crosse Area Family YMCA. “We’re making plans for activities including family games and a teen concert and we’re excited about being a part of this community focused effort to improve the overall well-being in the Coulee Region.”