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posted: 8/12/2010 12:01 AM

Wish Geneva 'happy birthday' at picnic Saturday

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Some old-fashioned fun is planned to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Geneva's founding this weekend.

There is a free "birthday party" from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday on the lawn of the Kane County Courthouse, 100 S. Third St.

"We wanted to do something that was fun," said Dave Oberg, executive director of the Geneva History Center.

It is organized by the history center, the Geneva Public Library, the Geneva Chamber of Commerce, the Geneva Park District and the city.

People should bring lawn chairs or a blanket, and their dinner.

Storyteller Terry Lynch will wander the crowd, telling tidbits about Geneva. There will also be a people-search mixer game.

"We want to encourage people to get to know their neighbors a little ... to get a little conversation going," Oberg said.

The Geneva Park District Sunset Dancers will perform at the start of the party, and the Fox Valley Concert Band will perform a patriotic concert at 6:45 p.m.

Between numbers, Oberg will present thumbnail tales from Geneva's history.

"You'll come away knowing a little bit more about the community," he said.

It's not the last 175th anniversary activity. Sometime in September, the history center and Geneva Underground Playhouse are putting on a pageant. But don't expect stuffy tableaux. Oberg said it will take a Second City troupe approach, and include musical numbers.

"It's really humorous," he said of the draft script.