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Venetian Festival brings summer to unofficial end

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Kayla Bunge
August 22, 2009
— The unofficial end to summer in the Geneva Lake area is here: Venetian Festival, the last big summer bash, capped off with a lighted boat parade and fireworks display, runs through Sunday.

The lakefront festival, which is sponsored by the Lake Geneva Jaycees and is a major fundraiser for several civic organizations, usually draws tens of thousands of people to Library, Seminary and Flat Iron parks over its five days.


The festival is a popular destination for summer visitors and year-round residents alike, said co-chairman Matt Stinebrink. The festival features a carnival, live music, an arts and crafts fair, food and beer, he said. It also includes a water ski show and the signature lighted boat parade and fireworks display—perhaps the highlights of the festival, he said.


Venetian Festival, except for the cost of food, beer and carnival rides, is free. There is an admission to the beer tent during performances.


Parking is available downtown, but Wrigley Drive will be closed from the municipal boat launch to Broad Street.


To avoid traffic troubles, consider taking the Walworth Country Visitors Bureau bus to and from the festival. The bus stops in Elkhorn, Delavan, Fontana, Williams Bay and Lake Geneva. Rides cost $1.


A bus schedule for the festival is available at www.visitwalworthcounty.com.


VENETIAN FESTIVAL EVENTS

Today


-- Arts and crafts fair: Open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in Library Park.


-- Carnival: Open from noon to 11:30 p.m. in Flat Iron and Seminary parks. Wristbands are $15 from noon to 5 p.m.


-- Brat stand: Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Library Park. Brats, chips, soda and water are available for purchase.


-- Beer tent: Open from noon to midnight in Flat Iron Park. First Kiss performs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Cover charge while the band is playing is $5.


Sunday


-- Arts and crafts fair: Open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Library Park.


-- Carnival: Open from noon to 10:30 p.m. in Flat Iron and Seminary parks.


-- Brat stand: Open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Library Park. Brats, chips, soda and water are available for purchase.


-- Beer tent: Open from noon to midnight in Flat Iron Park. Local Favorite performs from 8 p.m. to midnight. Cover charge while the band is playing is $3.


-- Water ski show: 6 p.m. on the lakefront. Presented by the Wonder Lake (Ill.) Water Ski Show Team.


-- Lighted boat parade: 8 p.m. on the lakefront.


-- Fireworks: 9 p.m. on the lakefront, following the lighted boat parade.


For more information, including a complete schedule, go to http://venetian.lakegenevajaycees.org.



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