Rotary Lights organizers dealing with costly vandalism

Published: Oct. 26, 2021 at 5:20 PM CDT
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LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) - For the first time in its 26 year history, organizers of Rotary Lights are working through a costly vandalism.

Rotary Lights President Pat Stephens says about 70 electrical pedestals were moved to Riverside Park last weekend to begin the setup for this year’s display.

However, vandals cut the cords on about 22 of the pedestals, with investigators believing the perpetrators wanted to strip the cords of their copper content to sell it.

The La Crosse Police Department is in the process of checking any security cameras in the area in order to identify the suspects.

In the meantime, Stephens says Rotary Lights is going on as planned, despite the possibility that extra cords may not arrive before it opens.

“We’re not completely sure at this point that we can get replacement material,” Stephens said. “With empty shells, trucking problems, storage problems, and so on, we’re not sure we can get the replacement, and if we can’t, it’ll be a different look to the park.”

Stephens adds that the lost cord amounts to $10-$12,000, and says donations from individuals or companies in the area to make up the loss would be greatly appreciated.

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