GENEVA – The 70th annual Swedish Days festival is set for June 18 through June 23 with a carnival, sales, music, craft show, car show and food.
Opening day June 18 will be a little different. The festival is bringing back an old tradition, Geneva Chamber of Commerce spokeswoman Laura Rush said.
“In honor of 70 years of Swedish Days, we are bringing back Moonlight Madness,” Rush said.
“Back when they had it, the shops would close, get ready for it and reopen and stay open until midnight. We are not asking them to do that this year,” Rush said. “We’re asking for them to stay open until 9 p.m. on Tuesday night and offer some specials in their stores. Maybe they’ll offer something different on Tuesday night than the rest of the week. The response is positive and good and we expect a large participation.”
Different from past years, opening day will be light on events, with no evening or day entertainment, she said.
Instead, aside from Moonlight Madness, the carnival will open, as will the craft beer tent and the nonprofit food booths, she said.
“We’re hoping it encourages people to come down and enjoy Geneva on the start of Swedish Days,” Rush said.
New for children this year will be the Discovery Tent on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on Campbell Street behind the beer tent. Activities include yoga for kids, crafts and a raptor talk.
Also new this year will be Toddler Town on South Fourth Street near the carnival. It will replace the quad power jump of past years. Rush said this is offered by Windy City Amusements, which hosts the carnival, and is for children who are 35 inches tall or shorter.
Creation Station for children will be in the craft beer tent, which is not open during the day, Rush said.
A car show is set for Thursday on South Third Street – a smaller version than is offered weekly in the summer in the courthouse parking lot – and the craft shows will be on Friday and Saturday, she said.
Planet Groove, a seven-piece band, will perform at 7 p.m. Thursday; Dancing Queen, an ABBA tribute band will perform at 5 p.m. Friday, followed by Semple at 7 p.m.; Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band will perform at 5 p.m. Saturday, followed by ARRA, a classic rock cover band, at 7 p.m.
“The entertainers are new this year as well,” Rush said. “We are really shaking it up for 70 years.”
Entertainment includes the Geneva’s Got Talent semifinals at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Central Stage on Third Street and the finals at 5 p.m. Thursday.
Other attractions include the Geneva Library Friends book sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 127 James St.; mini-golf in the dark with glow-in-the-dark balls at Stone Creek on Route 31 from 9 p.m. to midnight on Friday; and Geneva History Museum exhibitions at 113 S. Third St.
The 70th annual Swedish Days Parade will step off at 1 p.m. Sunday at Anderson Boulevard.
A full schedule is available online at www.genevachamber.com.