(West Salem, WI) – The changing of the leaves isn’t the only reason visitors make the pilgrimage to the Coulee Region. The rumble of cars around the 5/8-mile and ¼-mile ovals around La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway brings a long line of campers to make their home starting at noon today for the 46th Annual Oktoberfest Race Weekend in West Salem, Wisconsin.
Starting today, and going through Sunday, the city of West Salem becomes the hub of Midwest short track racing as many fans and competitors participate in the annual historic event.
“Oktoberfest isn’t just about racing, it’s about being part of an event, and everyone is involved,” Dave Noelke, of La Crosse Fairgrounds Speedway said. “Camping at Oktoberfest is part of the great tradition of Oktoberfest and, while many have reserved their spot, they still want to come as soon as they are allowed to make their home for the week and catch up with their racing friends and families.”
The fairgrounds will become a mini-city as many more fans and competitors arrive throughout the week, for the four-day event that starts on Thursday.
Teams will start arriving with their race cars as early as Wednesday, October 7th for the first practice session from 4-7:30pm.
Campers will also have the opportunity to visit souvenir row as they make their walk to and from track. Souvenir row includes many vendors selling racing memorabilia and wearables, food, and much more. There is something for everyone.
While camping at Fest makes it easy for fans and competitors to stay on site, they also have the advantage of picking their prime seats for the racing events later that day.
Each night after the races, fans must remove their blankets, bags, etc. from the grandstand area that they use to “mark their spot” in the general admission seating. The grandstand gate will open at 8:00am daily; 8:30am on Sunday for fans to save their favorite seats for later in the day.
After the races, the legendary after race parties take place Friday and Saturday night in the Exhibition Hall, featuring live music. On Friday, Diamond & Steel will take to the stage with the popular band “The Freezers” headlining on Saturday night.
For anyone looking for early holiday gifts, make sure to visit the Memorabilia Show on Saturday morning starting at 9am., and the daily Souvenir Row, including “the Glass Carver” who can customize great gifts as well.