The 51st annual Venetian Festival began Wednesday and will run through Sunday at Flat Iron, Seminary and Library parks in Lake Geneva.

The event is created and sponsored by The Lake Geneva Jaycees since 1962.

Venetian Fest runs from 5 p.m. to midnight Wednesday through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday. The event includes bands, a beer tent, craft fair, brat stand, carnival, water ski show, fireworks and a boat parade.



Entertainment in the Jaycees Entertainment Pavilion – the beer tent – is:

• 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Thursday – Retro Night with the Student Body band sponsored by Sprechers Pub. Cost is $3 at the door. Student Body is a Chicago cover band that plays high school favorites. Guests are encouraged dress in their favorite cheerleader or pom squad outfits or wear their school spirit gear.

• 8 p.m. to 12 a.m. Friday – The Toys sponsored by BMO Harris Bank. Cover charge is $5. The Toys – a rock and country dance band – are a Friday staple of Venetian Fest. The Toys’ song list includes top dance and rock hits from the 1980s to today’s current country and modern hits. For more information, visit

• Noon to 3 p.m. Saturday – Fresh Hops Band sponsored by Talmer Bank. The event is free. The Fresh Hops Band is a quartet hailing from northwest Indiana with more than 500 shows under its belt. The band plays jazz, classic soul, bluegrass, classical, metal and progressive jam rock. For more information, visit

• 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday – Baggo tournament. Cost is $40 per two-person team. The set-up is double elimination straight to 21. The SLM Jam Band will be playing from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m.;

• 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday – Too White Crew sponsored by Stinebrink’s Piggly Wiggly. Cover charge is $5. The Too White Crew is a party band – a tribute to the golden era of hip hop, featuring all-live music from a six-piece band, accompanied by choreographed “fly girl” dancers. The Too White Crew has opened for hip hop and pop legends and is the only band in the past decade to perform at the Playboy Mansion. Too White Crew’s nationally touring show is one of the top-requested festival acts. For more information, visit

• Noon to 3 p.m. Sunday – Lake Geneva House of Music sponsored by Talmer Bank. Admission is free. The Lake Geneva House of Music is the No. 1 choice for performance-based music schools in the Geneva Lakes area. For more information, visit;

• 8 p.m. to midnight Sunday – Petty Thieves sponsored by Tread Head Cycling. Cover charge is $3. Petty Thieves is a classic rock cover band that has performed at Milwaukee’s Summerfest and other well-known venues in Wisconsin and Illinois. For more information, visit

Patrons must be 21 years old to enter the beer tent. Identification must be presented.

The Lake Geneva Beer Tent is open from 5 p.m. to midnight through Friday and noon to midnight Saturday and Sunday. Beverages served in the beer tent are Budweiser, Bud Light, Bud Light Lime, Moon Man, Spotted Cow, Totally Naked, Fat Tire, Guinness, Sprecher’s Amber, Shocktop Lemon Shandy, Shocktop Apple Wheat, Geneva Lakes Raspberry Wheat, Bud Light Lime-a-rita and Straw-ber-rita, Monster Energy Drink and Rehab. Non-alcoholic beverages are also available.

Beverages may be purchased in the beer tent only with tokens. Tokens are available in the beer tent.


Craft fair

The Venetian Festival craft fair will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in Library Park on the Lake Geneva lakefront on Main Street (Highway 50.)

Admission is free. The fair will feature 110 exhibitors.


Brat stand

The brat stand in Library Park is sponsored by Pody Door. It will operate from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday and also 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday. The stand will sell brats, soda, water, chips, pretzels and candy.



The Venetian Festival carnival will be in Flat Iron and Seminary parks through Sunday. Hours are 5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday, noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday and noon to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.

Ride specials are wristbands for $20 from 5 to 10 p.m. Thursday and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday.

The carnival operator is Mr. Ed’s Magical Midways.


Water ski show

The water ski show will start at 6 p.m. on the Geneva Lake lakefront by Library Park and the Riviera. The show is sponsored by Harbor Shores on Lake Geneva.



The Venetian Festival fireworks display begins promptly at 9 p.m. Sunday. Fireworks are shot off in Geneva Bay downtown Lake Geneva and can be viewed from Library Park, the lakefront, Riviera Beach, and Flat Iron Park in down town Lake Geneva. The fireworks are sponsored by the Lake Geneva Jaycees, the City of Lake Geneva, Talmer Bank, Community Bank CBD, Geneva Crossing, J&M Displays, Braden Dental Center, Steinke Funeral Home, Kikkoman Corp., Martin Group, Taste of Lake Geneva, Leather Lips Boat Rental and Chamberlain & Henningfield CPAs.


Boat parade

The lighted boat parade begins at dusk Sunday on Geneva Lake in front of Library Park and the Riviera. A fireworks display follows the boat parade. This year’s theme is Mardi Gras. For more information, contact Harold Friestad at Gage Marine at 248-5642.

For more information about Venetian Fest, visit


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