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More events on tap at Swedish Days Festival

GENEVA – The threat of high winds, hail and a fast-moving storm canceled Friday's Swedish Days Kids' Parade event and also closed the carnival for a while, officials said.

The six-day annual festival goes through today and Sunday with its parade and continuing events, such as the Friends of the Geneva Library semiannual used book sale. 

But on Friday, some events were washed away by rainy weather.

"In conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce and the fire department, and to do the best we could to assure for the safety of visitors, guests and workers, it was decided to postpone the kids' day parade and to close the carnival until the storms passed," Police Cmdr. Eric Passarelli said in an email.

Police then walked down Third Street to advise vendors and guests of the impending weather so they were able to either take shelter, leave or prepare in some other way, Passarelli said.

As the weather did not immediately clear up, the kid’s day parade was first postponed, then canceled, but the carnival reopened by midafternoon, chamber spokeswoman Laura Rush said.

Other events took place on Friday. At the library's book sale, Linda Depasquale of Geneva was busy buying mysteries and other books, while her daughter, Michelle, 21, already had two bags full, mostly romances.

Ellen Bassett, president of the friends, said they had about 10,000 books available. For today's sale, which runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., would be a bag for $5.

Another popular attraction is the food offered by various vendors. Mike DiMaria, helping out at the Knights of Columbus booth, said they were selling lots of roasted turkey legs and ears of corn. 

"We're not going to run out," DiMaria said. "We have plenty."

Four mothers – Becky Holzhauer, Kristin Bobeczko, Robin Dibble and Jaimie Holda – with 10 children among them, were disappointed that the kids' parade was canceled. 

The children, nine boys and a girl, created a Viking theme out of duct tape with a ship, horned hats, weapons and shields.

"We're going to retool the viking theme for next year," Bobeczko said. "It was a lot of work."

One of the issues is that the cutoff for participating is 10 years old, and two of the children involved are 10, she said. Their hope is for the age cutoff to be extended to 11 for next year because it was rained out this year.

"I don't know if they will change it for next year," Bobeczko said. "I'm not sure what they'll do."

Today's attractions include a church breakfast from 8 a.m. to noon at Geneva Lutheran Church, 301 S. Third St.; the 43rd Annual Granquist Music Competition from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Geneva High School, 416 McKinley Ave.; the All-American Soap Box Derby races from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Second Street between Campbell and Fulton streets; and Twilight Golf with glow-in-the-dark golf balls at Stone Creek Mini-Golf in Wheeler Park.

The Swedish Days Parade will be at 1 p.m. Sunday.

Carnival rides continue through Sunday, as does the zip line, quad power jump, concerts on the lawn and the Swedish Cottage Walk and Viking Ship Tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. today and Sunday at Good Templar Park, 528 East Side Drive.

Sweden Väst from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Sunday, features all things Swedish in a big tent on North Fourth Street between State and Hamilton streets. It includes Swedish food, games, music, art, singers, dancers and the raising of a maypole at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Also among Sunday's features are the all-you-can-eat Parade Day Breakfast  from 7 to 11 a.m., hosted by the Geneva Vikings Mimer Lodge 33 at the American Legion Post 75 tent. It will feature Swedish pancakes, fried herring, bacon, eggs, potatoes and beverages.  

A full schedule of events and map of food offerings are available online at Printed schedules also are available at the chamber office, 8 S. Third St., Geneva.

Swedish Days - Friday: Shealeigh Performs
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