LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - The 52nd annual Oktoberfest kicked off Friday morning, beginning with the traditional opening day parade.
Hundreds of festers followed the parade from the City Brewery Hospitality Center to the south side festgrounds.
The parade featured Oktoberfest royalty, law enforcement and local high school and college bands.
After the parade arrived at the festgrounds, it was time to tap the golden keg, filled with City Brew's Fest beer.
The Festmaster and royal family led the crowd in a rousing rendition of Ein Prosit.
Reigning Festmaster Jerry Kember said Oktoberfest is the perfect way to bring the community together.
"What Oktoberfest means to me is an opportunity for us to bring people from all over the county. I met a gentleman from California this morning. They come from all over the country to here, learn about our community, learn what a welcoming warm inviting place this is and what a beautiful place this is to live," Kember said.
Friday is Kember's last day as Festmaster.
The identity of the 2012 Festmaster will be revealed Friday night.
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