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LA CROSSE COUNTY, Wis. (WKBT) – The La Crosse county board approved Country Boom, a festival that will be held near West Salem on the former site of the Maple Grove Country Club.

The festival is expected to draw a crowd of 20,000 to 30,000 people next summer.

Country Boom will offer onsite parking, food service, camping and more.

It will also feature 10 acts per day with music running from 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.

The two-day festival, which may expand to three days, is expected to bring more than $7 million to the area.

“And that’s just over a three day time period you know so the hotels, restaurants, you know different type of things like that, it’ll be significantly impacted in a positive way,” said festival representative Jon Holthaus

Holthaus says the idea has been in the works for about three years and when he finally proposed it to the county board, there were no rejections.

“All the way from the township, to HOA level, all the way up to the county, it’s been unanimous the whole way through.”

La Crosse County Planner Charles Handy says the festival is possible because representatives took the right actions to make it happen.

“Our biggest issue at the county is when we get complaints and trying to smooth those over and making sure people are good neighbors so when this applicant actually went and met with the neighbors before any of the meetings, started to hear their concerns and try to address them, that’s the way to do it.”

One of the biggest concerns is parking and road congestion, which Holthaus says won’t be a problem.

“Part of that is probably going to have some campers so they’re already going to be here and be coming a few days early, you know one of the main things too as far as parking goes, is we either have this venue we can use.”

Holthaus says he’s also been in contact with area farmers and landlords who are willing to share their land for parking.

“The community has been backing us 100 percent.”

Festival representatives are now working on securing talent for the festival.

They have already starting looking at the budget for 2018 and the final budget will be approved November 13th.

Country Boom will be held on July 13th and 14th of next summer and is expected to host 20 artists.


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