LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - A member of the Oktoberfest royal family made an appearance today at the Northside Festgrounds.
"This is Fester Day!" said Conner Ellis is this year's Special Fester. He spent the day enjoying rides for Special Fester Day.
"Special Fester Day is a day that they open up the carnival free of charge to kids with special needs in the community," said Dana Paul, Conner's mother. "So it's a really neat opportunity for them to, well, miss school as my son would say, and come down and have some fun in a safe environment."
Conner's mother says this experience has helped her son break out of his shell.
"It has been so much fun for him!" said Dana. "And it's such a confidence builder. My son has an autism spectrum disorder and so social skills don't always come easily for him. So this has been a good chance for him to get out and meet people as well, and get to use those social skills that he learns."
Conner's mom said she hopes other kids with disabilities will see Conner getting cheered on and have the confidence to get out into the community as well.
Conner said he's enjoyed meeting new people during Oktoberfest but his favorite part is singing "Ein Prosit."
"He doesn't stop talking about it!" said Dana. "And in fact, we caught him in his room yesterday practicing the Oktoberfest Ein Prosit song by himself."
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