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About a month's worth of preparation in Riverside Park pays off tonight, when La Crosse's Rotary Lights display is switched on for the holidays.
This is the 18th year for the display, which contributes more food to community pantries than just about any other single event in the area. And festival president Pat Stephens says people from dozens of organizations throughout the region volunteer their time to help.
Two million lights will be turned on in the park after the downtown parade which begins at 5 p-m. Rotary Lights lasts every night from now to New Year's Eve, a total of 39 nights this year.
Getting more serious about clearing the streets of La Crosse during the winter...
A proposal calling for towing cars and tripling alternate-side parking fines has been okayed by the parking utility board. It now goes to the city council. City Hall would issue alerts to ask people to move their cars, just as it has done in a test zone around the university. But public works boss Dale Hexom points out that those alerts have been widely ignored. The city plans to end its voluntary alternate-side experiment near U-W-L after this winter.
This could be a record-setting Thanksgiving in La Crosse...
We might have another high in the 60's today, following the 65 reported yesterday. The record high in La Crosse for a Thanksgiving Day is 65, set in 1914. And we could set a new record for November 22nd. The current record high of 59 was set in 1963, on the day of President Kennedy's assassination.
The mild weather could bring out a large number of runners for the Festival Turkey Trot this morning. The 5-mile run starts at 8 o'clock at the La Crosse Center, then heads east to 24th Street before circling back to the riverfront.
You'll find plenty of company on the highways today...
The day before Thanksgiving traditionally is the busiest travel day of this holiday weekend. And Pam Moen from the Wisconsin Triple A says gas prices or high air fares usually don't discourage people from making Thanksgiving plans. Pump prices have dropped steadily in the last two months. Moen says the number of Americans traveling for Thanksgiving is expected to increase for the fourth year in a row.
How young should kids be to start playing football?
In Onalaska, children have to wait until 5th grade to get into the city-run tackle football program. But parents recently answered a survey about lowering the entry level to 3rd grade. Onalaska park director Dan Wick says a previous survey on the matter led his department to make no changes. Wick tells us the Onalaska park board members will hear the results of the new survey next week. They're not likely to approve any changes in the football program until January, at the soonest.