Country Boom officially kicks off in West Salem Thursday, and festival organizers expected more than 40,000 people to enjoy the festival throughout the three days. Explore La Crosse said 35 percent of that crowd is expected to travel for 60 miles or more to get to La Crosse County.

“It gets people here,” Executive Director of Explore La Crosse A.J. Frels said. “It gets people talking about La Crosse County. They get introduced to our area. We know that once they are introduced to La Crosse County, we have so much to offer that they come back, so there is that repeat business.”

The estimated economic impact of the festival is above $2.5 million for the area. Only in its second year, Frels called Country Boom a staple for southwest Wisconsin. The festival’s initial year made a memorable start in 2019 with rain drenching the grounds, leading to full mud pit experience.

“But, they did a fantastic job last year,” Frels said. “They addressed the situation. They didn’t hesitate for a second to do what they could to make it better for the folks that were at the event.”

Those coming to the event may notice some changes to make traffic less congested. Festival organizers will not let people be dropped off at the grounds by friends or Uber unless they have a certified pass or handicap sticker. Free shuttles will be available. More information can be found at countryboom.com.