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Thursday - July 13, 2017 8:42 am

Oktoberfest royalty took a trip to the Twin Cities, 50 years ago

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In July of 1967, leaders of La Crosse's Oktoberfest carried on the tradition of representing the city at the Minneapolis Aquatennial.  The local group would board a train at the Burlington depot, at the foot of Grandad Bluff, for an 8:30 a.m. trip to the Twin Cities.  They would stay in the big city until late that night, returning to La Crosse at 2 a.m.  The reigning Festmaster, Lincoln Neprud, had plans to ride the train to the Aquatennial in the morning, and then fly back to La Crosse that afternoon, for his daughter's wedding.

The Citizens' Planning Corporation of La Crosse was looking into possible sites for a community arts center.  The most popular choices included La Crosse Street, near the future site of City Hall...the old Central High School on Cass Street...and the area near 3rd and King.  That last area now includes the Weber Center and the Pump House. 

And a big hit single of '67 was recorded 50 years ago this week..."Ode to Billie Joe," by Bobbie Gentry.  The tale of Billie Joe McAllister jumping off a bridge topped the U.S. music charts in August and September of 1967, Yesterday in La Crosse. 





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Brad Williams

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from U-W-La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area.  Brad writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse.  He's been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.  

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