Celebrate: Venetian Fest turns 50
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LAKE GENEVA The Venetian Festival runs from Aug. 15 through Aug. 19 at Flat Iron Park in downtown Lake Geneva. This five-day festival features a carnival, craft fair, water ski show, musical entertainment, food and drink and the signature event — a lighted boat parade followed by the area’s largest fireworks display high above Geneva Lake.
The festival is the largest event the Lake Geneva Jaycees sponsors, attracting more than 50,000 visitors during its five-day run. It began in 1962 and is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a commemorative poster, which is available for $30. Lake Geneva artist Neal Aspinall designed the poster (shown above).
Mr. Ed’s Magical Midways is held in Flat Iron Park and Seminary Park. The carnival opens at 5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. It opens at noon on Saturday and Sunday.
The entertainment takes place in the Jaycees Pavilion Beer Tent (You must be 21 to enter). There is a cover charge for the bands, which include classic rock cover band Petty Thieves on Wednesday, the retro band Spazmatics on Thursday, dance band The Toys on Friday, and the Sweet Tarts on Saturday. The Hot Sauce Band will play the best in R&B, soul and funk on Sunday to close out the festival.
An acoustic duo from Chicago will play from noon to 3 p.m. on Saturday with no cover charge. The Tom Brusky Variety Polka band, playing polka and waltz music, plays from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday with no cover charge.
Stroll along the shore in Library Park for the craft show — it takes place Saturday and Sunday.
Start the day Sunday by watching the ski show at 6 p.m. The boat parade also takes place Sunday at dusk in front of Library Park in Lake Geneva.
The fireworks show closes out the festival in spectacular fashion.
If you go
-- What: Venetian Festival
-- Where: On Geneva Lake and at Flat Iron Park, Lake Geneva
-- When: Aug. 15-19. Hours: 6 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday through Friday and noon to midnight on Saturday and Sunday
Aug. 15: Petty Thieves, rock, 8 p.m.
Aug. 16: Spazmatics, retro, 8 p.m.
Aug. 17: The Toys, ’80s to today, 8 p.m.
Aug. 18: Acoustic Generation at noon and the Sweet Tarts at 8 p.m.
Aug. 19: Tom Brusky Variety Polka at noon and Hot Sauce, R&B, soul, funk at 8 p.m.
-- Contact: www.lakegenevajaycees.org