Children march in Kids' Day Parade, June 26, 1998. Photo: Sherri Weitl
Geneva Swedish Days (50th Anniversary)
The "Granddaddy of Illinois Festivals," this
six-day festival dates back to 1949. Sponsored by the Geneva
Chamber of Commerce, it was originally begun as an event to promote
and build business for Geneva at a time, post-WWII, when the
economy was booming and Americans were ready to satisfy their
consumer appetites. Today, nearly every member of the Geneva
community participates in some way, either as a volunteer or
participant in the festivities.
Held the last week in June, Geneva Swedish Days
celebrates the heritage of Swedish immigrants who settled in the
area. A Swedish smorgasbord and rosemaling show are hosted by the
local church community, and traditional old world costumes are
worn. Arts and crafts exhibits, a music competition, a carnival, a
Kids' Day, a flea market, nightly entertainment on the Courthouse
lawn, and a parade are part of the festivities. Merchants host
special sales and in-store events, as well as sponsoring main
festival programs and donating in-kind services. Twenty-one food
stands throughout the downtown area tempt visitors with Swedish and
American menus. The 1999 festival was the 50th anniversary of
The event is documented in 30 photographs with
descriptions; background text; promotional materials, including
event programs, a notecard, poster, and yo-yo; and a print
commissioned for the 50th anniversary celebration.
Originally submitted by: J. Dennis Hastert, Representative (14th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.