Former golf course transforms into country music destination

Thousands of country music fans will visit the Coulee Region this weekend for the Country Boom Music Festival.

Dozens of local groups continue working together to make sure the grounds at Maple Grove Venues are ready. On Monday, crews did everything from unloading Porta Potties to building new roads. Organizers say the work shows that what was once just an idea is one step closer to becoming a reality.

"Every town had one of these things. It was great for the economy, great for the people, great for the community," said Jon Holthaus, organizer of Country Boom Music Festival. "We kind of thought, ‘Why the heck can La Crosse not have one of these? Why can’t we do it the best?’"

The former golf course is transforming into a country music destination.

"When you think outdoor music festival, you think a lot of hot weather, a lot of dust, a lot of dirt, hay fields, that type of thing," said Holthaus.

Holthaus says that atmosphere will not be the case at the Country Boom Music Festival. Organizers are taking advantage of the buildings at Maple Grove Venues, renovating rooms into VIP lounges and suites.

"This group is fantastic to work with," said Steven Nicolai, owner of Maple Grove Venues. "They’re not only efficient and effective, but professional."

The buildings on the property are just one aspect of Country Boom that sets it apart from other music festivals.

"Each station we have is state of the art," Holthaus said. "It has a computer chip in your wristband, and when you go to pay, all you have to do is beep in on the tablet, enter a pin code and your in,  your out. It’s safe, secure. Not a lot of cash being transferred either way."

Organizers are excited to welcome country music lovers to the Coulee Region for the first time, and hopefully, not the last.

"That’s what it takes: organization, communication–almost like a good marriage," Holthaus said. "And, it’s all coming together pretty nicely."

He says organizers look forward to what Country Boom is going to bring to local communities. The music festival will raise money for a number of local volunteer organizations that would have to depend on fundraisers like car washes or brat stands as an alternative. Holthaus says Country Boom organizers are excited to know that these groups will raise one year worth of funds in just two days.

There is still time to buy Country Boom tickets. Two-day general admission tickets are $60 and VIP tickets are $200.

The festival runs Friday, July 13 and Saturday, July 14. For more information and to buy tickets, visit the Country Boom website.




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