Venetian Fest: Summer spectacular

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CSI Staff | August 11, 2013

LAKE GENEVA — The Lake Geneva Jaycees celebrated 50 years of the Venetian Festival in 2012. This week, the organization embarks on what it hopes is the start of an even better half century worth of family fun and entertainment.

Edition No. 51 will be held Wednesday through Sunday, Aug. 14 through Aug. 18, with activities at Flat Iron, Library and Seminary parks.

Venetian Festival typically draws about 50,000 people to the city's downtown and lakefront during its five-day run.

The event's main attractions will feature the 19th annual craft fair, water ski show, carnival, musical entertainment, lighted boat parade and fireworks display. And patrons usually don't forget the beer tent and brat stand. For more details, see

Proceeds from the Jaycees' largest fundraiser help numerous charities and local service organizations, such as the Lake Geneva police and fire departments, Lake Geneva YMCA, Badger High School scholarships, Cub Scouts, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Special Olympics, the Walworth County and Lake Geneva food pantries and Head Start.

Here is a breakdown of some of the activities scheduled for an event that started in 1962. The festival hours are from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday.


Boat parade

Aug. 18. This year's theme is Mardi Gras. It starts at dusk and is followed by the fireworks display. Those who need more information should contact Harold Friestad at Gage Marine at (262) 248-5642.


Arts and crafts fair

The 19th annual juried event is Aug. 17 and Aug. 18 at Library Park. Contact Ben Conley at


Music lineup

Performances are from 8 p.m. to midnight unless noted:

Aug. 14: Bella Cain, named Wisconsin Area Music Industry 2012 country band of the year

Aug. 15: Retro Night featuring the Chicago cover group The Student Band

Aug. 16: Wisconsin band The Toys

Aug. 17: Fresh Hops Band, noon to 3 p.m.

Too White Crew

Aug. 18: Lake Geneva House of Music performances, noon to 3 p.m.

Classic rock cover band Petty Thieves


Baggo tournament

Aug. 17, noon to 3 p.m. at beer tent. SLM Jam Band will play from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Cost is $40 per two-person team. Double-elimination event. Open to first 24 teams to pay fee (must be 21 years of age to enter). To enter, email team and player names to Darrin Katzenberg at or Ron Ward at



5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sunday at Flat Iron and Seminary parks


Water ski show

Starts at 6 p.m. Sunday at Geneva Lake by Library Park and The Riviera

For more information, visit




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