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updated: 6/21/2014 6:27 PM

Geneva's Swedish Days offers lots of fun, history

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  • Joey Pupillo, 11, of Addison tries to block a shot by Mason Mascari, 11, of Geneva in the 3 on 3 basketball tournament on Third Street during the 65th Geneva Swedish Days Saturday in downtown Geneva.

       Joey Pupillo, 11, of Addison tries to block a shot by Mason Mascari, 11, of Geneva in the 3 on 3 basketball tournament on Third Street during the 65th Geneva Swedish Days Saturday in downtown Geneva.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

  • Sophia Stuart, 5, of Maple Park gets her face painted by Alyssa Smith at the Autumn Green Animal Hospital booth during the 65th Geneva Swedish Days Saturday in downtown Geneva.

       Sophia Stuart, 5, of Maple Park gets her face painted by Alyssa Smith at the Autumn Green Animal Hospital booth during the 65th Geneva Swedish Days Saturday in downtown Geneva.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer

 
 

Visitors to Geneva's Swedish days Saturday had their pick of past, present and future with tours of the historical Viking Ship, fast action during 3-on-3 basketball tournament and future stars competing in the 44th Annual Granquist Music Competition.

"Try lifting up that oar … now think about picking that up and down for eight hours," docent Andrew Woods told a group of curious kids touring the Viking Ship in Good Templar Park.

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The craft, a replica of a 9th Century Viking ship, was built in 1893 in Norway and sailed to America where it was displayed in the World's Columbian Exhibition in Chicago.

Crossing the Atlantic was perilous enough, but getting to Chicago through locks on the Erie Canal was worse, Woods explained.

"Those locks were very narrow, and if the Viking Ship had been any larger it wouldn't have fit into those locks … it barely scraped through."

Meanwhile, Josiah Warner and friends posed for pictures wearing chain mail and helmets as part of a Friends of the Viking Ship display.

"It's interesting to learn about this part of history," said Warner, a Geneva resident who acknowledged he was of German descent.

Nearby the Viking Ship, visitors checked out a Rosemaling display. The decorative painting featuring curves, scrolls and flowers started in the 1700s but the tradition carries on in America, said Lynn Sove Maxson, a volunteer and Rosemaling artist.

"Each area represents a different part of Norway; each area is distinctive," she said pointing to a decorated "Vest Agder" style bowl.

Swedish Days continues Sunday with the 65th Annual Swedish Days Parade starting at 1 p.m.

Also Sunday in downtown Geneva, there's an all-you-can eat parade day breakfast, cultural displays and entertainment at the Sweden Vast, a carnival and Quad Power Jump. At Good Templar Park, tours of the Viking Ship, a Swedish cottage walk, and the rosemaling display continue.

For more information, go to genevachamber.com/swedish_days.php.

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