Effective January 1, 2020, a Special Event Permit is required for events meeting the definition of special event; including those that sell or serve alcohol beverages. See New Special Event Procedures pursuant to Ordinance 5113 adopted October 10, 2019.
- Class "B" - Fermented malt beverages only
- "Class B" - Wine
Temporary licenses may be issued to bona fide clubs and chambers of commerce, to county or local fair associations or agricultural societies, to churches, lodges or societies that have been in existence for at least six (6) months before the date of application and to posts of veterans organizations authorizing the sale of fermented malt beverages and wine at a particular picnic or similar gathering.
Note: No more than two (2) "Class B" (wine) licenses may be issued to any one eligible applicant within any 12-month period.
Governing legislation may be found in Ch. 4, Art. V of the Municipal Code or Department of Revenue Publication 302: Wisconsin Alcohol Beverage and Tobacco Laws for Retailers.
- City of La Crosse - Temporary Class "B"/"Class "B" Retail (Picnic) License
- Department of Revenue - Selling, Donating or Giving Away Alcohol Beverages
- City of La Crosse - Temporary Class "B"/"Class "B" Retail (Picnic) License - Beer and/or Wine Walks
- Department of Revenue - Wine or Beer Walks
A non-refundable fee of $10.00 per license is due at the time of application (cash, check payable to City Treasurer or credit with convenience fee).
How to Apply
Applications shall be made in writing on the form prescribed by law and filed with the City Clerk's Office in conjunction with the relevant special event application. Applications shall be filed with the City Clerk not less than sixty (60) days prior to the event and no more than one (1) year in advance.
If you are a new applicant for a Temporary Class "B"/”Class B” Retail License, you are required to submit an Affidavit of Eligibility. The following documents will assist us in determining your eligibility for said license (done prior to filing the application):
- Articles of Incorporation/Registration with the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions.
- Bylaws/Mission Statement outlining the purpose of the organization.
- Exemption Determination Letter from the IRS or 501(c) documentation.
- Meeting minutes from the 12 months prior to your filing.
For events selling or serving alcohol, liquor liability insurance in the amount of not less than one million dollars ($1,000,000) per occurrence for bodily insurance, personal injury and property damage.
The City of La Crosse must be named as additional insured (via ISO endorsement CG2010, CG2033 or insurer’s equivalent for general liability coverage), and the endorsement must accompany the certificate of insurance at the time of application.
Restrictions for a Temporary Beer/Wine License
- License may not be issued to individuals, a partnership or business corporation.
- Licenses to organizations, other than ex-servicemen’s organizations, can be issued only for a picnic or similar gathering of the organization. They may not be issued for business or social meetings of the organization.
- Licenses for club or organization meetings may be issued only to ex-servicemen's posts.
- License may cover either a specified area or the entire picnic grounds.
- License issued to a county or district fair must cover the entire fairground.
- No license to clubs having any indebtedness to any wholesaler for more than 15 days for beer and 30 days for wine.
- Licensed operator(s) must be present at all times.
- The licensed club, club members or any other persons are not permitted to possess intoxicating liquor on licensed premises or the Temporary Class "B"/"Class B" licensed picnic area.
- Not more than 2 wine licenses may be issued to any club, county or local fair association, agricultural association, church, lodge, society, chamber of commerce or similar civic or trade organization or veterans' post in any 12 month period. A municipality may issue up to 20 wine licenses to the same licensee if: 1) each license is issued for the same date and times, 2) the licensee is the sponsor of an event held at multiple locations within the municipality on this date and at these times, 3) an admission fee is charged for participation in the event and no additional fee is charged for service of alcohol beverages at the event, and 4) within the immediately preceding 12-month period, the municipality has issued these multiple licenses for fewer than 2 events. In addition, each event for which multiple licenses are issued shall count as one license toward the 2-license limit.
- Licensee must purchase alcohol from a wholesaler or fermented malt beverage from a permitted brewery or brewpub authorized to sell directly to retailers' and keep invoices for two years.
For more information, contact the City Clerk's Office at (608) 789-7510.