2022 Festmaster & Frau – Douglas & Kimberly Kratt

This Festmaster and Frau were born and raised in our very own La Crosse, WI!  They have several things in common, both personally and professionally.  They are both the youngest of large families, and they both attended the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse prior to attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison School of Veterinary Medicine.  For those familiar with our lovely area, though, that’s where the similarities end.  Our Festmaster was a South Sider, involved at the YMCA, and attended Blessed Sacrament and Aquinas High School.  Our Frau was a North Sider, involved at the Boys and Girls Club, and attended St. James and Logan High School.  They have two wonderful children who are both off to college – Zachary and Madison. 

Doug held several jobs as a youngster, and even started a few businesses.  You name it and he probably did it, including piloting houseboats, teaching SCUBA and swim lessons, selling sound equipment, and giving brewery tours.  There was even a stint working for the Mouse in Orlando. He volunteered for La Crosse Area Underwater Rescue and Recovery Unit throughout his undergraduate years, before heading off to Veterinary School in Madison.    

These days, you can most likely find Doug (and probably Kim) at Central Animal Hospital any day of the week.  Sure, being open to serve pets in the community on Sundays takes some sacrifice, but the need is great.  The best part is, Doug truly is in the best profession – he absolutely loves his work.   In addition to patient care, he has clinic-owning duties and a lot of philanthropic work.  He has donated veterinary services to many organizations in the past, but the most high-profile VIPs now are our state and local police K9 officers.  Doug started a medical wellness program for all the K9s in the Wisconsin State Patrol over a decade ago. When he learned that these officers weren’t all afforded the same, high level of preventative, medical, and surgical care, the team stepped up. Others have come along since then, with the Central Animal Hospital staff providing care for the Onalaska, Holmen, Tomah, and Campbell Police Departments as well as the La Crosse County Sheriff’s office.  Doug and his Frau are extremely blessed to be able to give back and provide everything these VIP K9s need. 

Doug grew up with Oktoberfest, which made taking a position on the Board of La Crosse Festivals, Inc. in 2009 a relatively easy decision for him.  Professionally, he has led nearly every veterinary organization he is a part of, including the Coulee Region Veterinary Medical Association, the Wisconsin Veterinary Medical Association, and the American Veterinary Medical Association, having just finished the Presidency of this national organization.  Both Kim and Doug own and practice veterinary medicine at Central Animal Hospital in Onalaska; they also enjoy mentoring future veterinarians and technicians.  You can find them at work, which is one place they both love to be, as well as hiking with the dogs, or perhaps on a beach somewhere warm.   

Former Festmasters and Fraus

2021-2022Tom TiggelaarMarilyn
2019-2020Terry CowgillShelly
2018-2019Mike KeilKaren
2017-2018Brian RudeKaren
2016-2017Joe KruseBarbara
2015-2016Chuck RothLuAnn
2014-2015Scott HorneSue
2013-2014David RingDenise
2012-2013Brad SturmLynn
2011-2012Jerry KemberNan
2010-2011Ed PrzytarskiEileen
2009-2010Todd OndellDeb
2008-2009Mike WeissenbergerJoan
2007-2008Peter KrauseKrin
2006-2007Terry CollinsKarolyn
2005-2006Peter StinsonSally
2004-2005Ted DewaldMarlene
2003-2004Chris WeissBeth
2002-2003Bill LeonardKay
2001-2002Tom SleikJudy
2000-2001Lyle QuillinSandy*
1999-2000Rollo Taylor*Kay
1998-1999Steve WebsterKatie
1997-1998Duane MooreJan
1996-1997Deak SwansonJeanne
1995-1996Howard Voss*Bernadine
1994-1995Al Becker*Anne
1993-1994Bill Otto*Mary Jo
1992-1993Bill Larkin*Jan
1991-1992Karl FriedlineMarcia*
1990-1991Duane Taebel*Carol
1989-1990Russ Cleary*Gail
1988-1989Steve Pavela*Marian*
1987-1988Alex Skover*Fran*
1986-1987Harry Wiggert*Beverly*
1985-1986Carl "Cully" Rebhan*Ruth*
1984-1985Bernie Degen*Barbara
1983-1984Quinn Johnson*Lorraine*
1982-1983John Mooney*Nettie*
1981-1982Bob Mullally*Mary Ann*
1980-1981Joe Ludden*Lyn*
1979-1980George Frost*Jan*
1978-1979Wally Rose*Helen*
1977-1978Art Dugan*Leona*
1976-1977Dave Hammes*Betty*
1975-1976Sam Hagerman*Betty*
1974-1975Jack Custer*M.J.*
1973-1974Dick Beggs*Evalyn*
1972-1973Walt Hammond*Sally*
1971-1972Joe Rohrer*Evelyn*
1970-1971Cully Prinz*Dorothy*
1969-1970Hans Zoreb*Belle*
1968-1969John Thomas*Gretchen*
1967-1968Jack Martin*Elsie*
1966-1967Lincoln Neprud*Laura*
1965-1966John Coleman*Adelheid*
1964-1965Roy Kumm*Hope*
1963-1964Ray Ping*Mildred*
1962-1963Don Rice*Lorraine*
* Fondly remembered

Who will represent La Crosse as the 2023 Festmaster?

The selection of the Festmaster is one of the oldest and most cherished Fest traditions. The selection process and naming of the new Festmaster is very secret and the mystery only adds to the fun!

The Festmaster heads the Oktoberfest Royal Family and is chosen annually by the Board of Trustees. Once selected, the Board of Trustees Chairman, along with the past year’s Festmaster, mentors the new Festmaster, bringing him up to speed on his duties, expectations, and appearances.

The new Festmaster & Frau are announced at the Festmaster’s Ball, held yearly in September.

Nominations for the 2023 Festmaster are now being accepted and will close on January 2, 2023!

If you know a man who is deserving, involved, and would be a great fit in our community-focused organization, submit your nomination below!

Nominations will be accepted for a man who is…

  • married
  • age 50 or older
  • a resident for at least 10 years within 20 mile radius of La Crosse
  • actively involved and well-known in the La Crosse community
  • has the time to devote to Oktoberfest activities!

The following information is required to complete the nomination:

  • Name of the nominee
  • Nominee’s address & contact information
  • Nominee’s biographical information – this would include such information as occupation, community or volunteer service, church involvement, professional activities, community or professional awards
  • Nominator’s name and personal comments as to why they have submitted nominee’s name

The final selection is made by the Board of Trustees however all nominations are kept on file for three years from the date of submission.

Click here to nominate your pick for 2023 Festmaster.