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Thursday, August 14, 2008

Venetian festival highlights Lake Geneva's summer


By Donna Wright Lenz Wright

Record-breaking rains during last year's Lake Geneva Venetian Festival put an extreme damper on the annual celebration.

"That makes it awful important that we have a good year," said David Broaden, president of the Lake Geneva Jaycees, who have sponsored the event since 1946.

It is so important because it's the largest revenue generator for the multitude of good things the Lake Geneva Jaycees do all over Walworth County each year with beneficiaries including police and fire departments, scholarships, Cub Scouts, United Way, Big Brothers Big Sisters, VIP Services, Special Olympics and many more.

So they've planned five days and nights filled to the brim of must-see events.

"We've made some pretty big refinements," Broaden said. "Our everything-handmade craft fair is going to be something really special. It's a juried event and of over 400 applications and chose only 120 of the best and most diverse crafters for the show.

"People will get to see a real mix of all kinds of eclectic arts."

The festival centers around Flat Iron Park in downtown Lake Geneva and draws over 30,000 people to take in the carnival, craft fair, water ski show, live musical, fireman's water fight, local cuisine and the festival's traditional lighted boat parade followed by a fireworks display high above Geneva Lake.

On a special note, firework fans should get an extra comfortable seat for the show because it's going to be double the show that is customary for Venetian Fest, according to Broaden.

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