Photo Series: Riverfest to kick off the holiday weekend in La Crosse


Image taken by Morgan Hose.

Morgan Hose, Executive Editor

Today at 4:00 p.m., Riverside welcomed La Crosse area citizens and visitors to the opening ceremony officially announcing the start of the Riverfest, a family festival with “something for everyone.” Riverfest, created in 1983, is held annually in Riverside Park over the Fourth of July weekend. The event hosts food vendors, magic acts, and musical performances during the event all weekend.

According to their website, Riverfest “should encourage citizens for the La Crosse area to celebrate the holiday at home and invite visitors from outside the area to join us for fireworks, entertainment, food and festivities and to encourage La Crosse area citizens to realize the beauty of this area with the parks and rivers.”

In an opening statement by Mayor Mitch Reynolds, he thanks everyone for the service they provide and all the work they do. Following Mayor Reynolds statement, 2022 Commodore Dennis Vogel introduced his family, and said, “This is really what Riverfest represents: family. We take a lot of things for granted, and this community has so many great things happening, and Riverfest is just one of those. I am really proud and honored to represent the Commodores of Riverfest with my family.”

To enter the grounds, you must purchase a Riverfest Button for $10, as it is required for all days of the fest. You can purchase these buttons at the gate in Riverside. “Riverfest is a self-funded, volunteer-run festival that provides annual entertainment, food, drink, and fun over the Fourth of July weekend for the Greater La Crosse Community. Proceeds from the festival are used to fund future Riverfest events, as well as to provide donations back to local groups and charities that provide volunteer services for the fest. Riverfest typically gives $50,000 to $60,000 back to the community each year.” Boys and Girls Club, City of La Crosse Parks Department, and Vietnam Veterans are only a few of the organizations that Riverfest has donated to over the years.

Riverfest will be held from Thursday, June 30 until Monday, July 4. There is a wide variety of events happening throughout the weekend, from live entertainment to food trucks. On Sunday, July 3, Sawyer Brown will be performing at 10:00 p.m., and on the night of July 4, Kwik Trip’s fireworks extravaganza will be happening at 10:00 p.m. and is the “largest fireworks display in the Coulee Region” ( The Great Escape of La Crosse will also be at Riverfest featuring an Axe Throwing spot for people to try out.

Military Appreciation Day also takes place Friday, July 1 and there will be a “free continental breakfast for our Veterans and a guest.”

Other events include Magic of Isaiah, who will be performing the art of magic, Kenny Ahern, a comedian for a family comedy show, and so much more. To learn more information or to see the complete 2022 weekend schedule, visit the event’s website or Facebook page.