2022 Torchlight Parade Marshal –
Mike Jorgenson

Mike was born and raised in La Crosse, graduating from La Crosse Central High School in 1974. He started with the La Crosse Fire Department in 1977 and was promoted to several positions during his 34 years of service. Eventually, he became the Assistant Chief before retiring as a Battalion Chief in 2012.  

Through his work, Mike got to know Pennie Pierce who was then the Recycling Coordinator for the City of La Crosse. They later married and blended their two families into one with a total of 4 children: Matt and his wife, Gina, with their children Melanie, Daniel, and Charlotte; Lisa and her husband, Devin; Hannah and her fiancé, Jefferson; and Ben.  

Throughout the years, Mike and Pennie spent a lot of time volunteering as a way of supporting their kids’ activities. Mike enjoyed being a Cub Scout Den leader as well as Boy Scout Troop 15 Scoutmaster. Pennie coached Boys and Girls Club basketball and Logan Middle School tennis. When Matt and Lisa were in high school, Mike volunteered for Onalaska High School Show Choirs, and when Hannah and Ben were in high school, Mike and Pennie volunteered for Logan High School Show Choirs. Every spring for over 14 years, they looked forward to teaching Jr. Achievement for the 2nd graders at Emerson Elementary School. The two of them have delivered Mobile Meals together for many years.  

One of Mike’s proudest accomplishments was spearheading a team that built the Fire Engine exhibit at the Children’s Museum of La Crosse, which has been a favorite for kids since its opening. Mike is Past President of the La Crosse Kiwanis Club and a former board member of the Central High School Alumni Assn. For the past 20 years, he has served on a Critical Incident Stress Management debriefing team for emergency responders. 

His love for construction has led to building 9 houses, including the one in which he and Pennie currently live. He has a passion for woodworking which includes making furniture and cabinets. He also enjoys woodcarving. If he has any free time, you will find Mike on a local golf course. 

Mike and Pennie look forward to joining the Oktoberfest Family and having a lot of fun with family and friends at Oktoberfest! 

Former Torchlight Parade Marshals

YearTorchlight Parade Marshal
2021Scott Neumeister
2019-2020Scott Skogen
2018Chuck Thoftne
2017Tim Colgan
2016Louie Ferris
2015Mark Terpstra*
2014Scott Mihalovic
2013Patti Lokken
2012Jane Molstad
2011Paul Borsheim
2010Bill Bush
2009Jerry Thompson
2008Paul Stuhr
2007Steven Hole*
2006Scott Erickson
2005Arland Peterson
2004Joe Maier
2003Merl Strong
2002Terry LaFleur*
2001Ken Wing
2000Bud Loomis & Dave Loomis*
1999Mike Abraham
1998Dick Merfeld
1997Dave Berger
1996Donna Berry*
1995Randy Eddy, Sr.
1994Ken Garves*
1993Mary Patros*
1992Joe Addis*
1991Elwood Harebo
1990Dick Morkwed*
1989Mark Doolittle
1988Jack Kraft*
1987Gerald Besl*
1986Robert Gavin*
1985V.A. Krajewski*
1984Terry Erickson
1983Frank Butkovich*
1982Howie Birnbaum*
1981Dave Skogen
1980Bob McCann*
1979Lynden Gjerde*
1978Wes Denny
1977Bob Allen*
1976Deak Swanson
1975Roscoe Short*
1974Burton Smith*
1973Ray Nibbe*
1972Margaret Niles*
1971Vern Bloss*
* Fondly Remembered

Parade Marshal Nomination

Know Someone that should “Lead the Way?” Nominate a Parade Marshal today using the Parade Marshal nomination form!

Submit your nomination for a 2023 Parade Marshal by completing the online form linked below.

Your nominee should be a person who:

  • has contributed positively to the good of the community through leadership and outstanding accomplishments
  • is someone of good character that is well-respected
  • is a resident for at least 10 years within 20-mile radius of La Crosse
  • is actively involved and well-known in La Crosse community
  • is well-known, well-liked, friendly and outgoing
  • has the time to devote to Oktoberfest activities!

Click here to nominate a Parade Marshal