Take the kids to Swedish Days

  • Eight-year-old Katie Washburn and her mom Alicia smile as she is announced as the winner for best costume in the "Mother Nature" category during last year's Kids Day green parade at Swedish Days in Geneva.

      Eight-year-old Katie Washburn and her mom Alicia smile as she is announced as the winner for best costume in the "Mother Nature" category during last year's Kids Day green parade at Swedish Days in Geneva. Rick West | Staff Photographer, 2008

Published6/22/2009 12:10 AM

While people of every age can, and do, enjoy Swedish Days, the festival is especially fun for kids.

It could be because I remember fondly taking my own kids when they were small to the festival.


Kids are such a central part of Swedish Days there's a whole day devoted to them. And that doesn't include the fun available other days, as well.

Friday is always Kids' Day during Swedish Days, and this year is no exception.

Kids' Day includes all kinds of fun with the younger set in mind. A Dodgeball competition starts at Wheeler Park at 9 a.m. The preregistration deadline was June 19, but kids can still cheer on their friends.

The children's parade is always a big attraction. Children 10 and younger can show off their imagination and creativity by decorating their bikes and trikes, or themselves. Parade categories include: Storybook Characters, Wild and Crazy Hats, Swedish Costumes, Decorated Bikes and Trikes, and Patriotic.

Participants should stop by the Chamber of Commerce office at 8 S. Third St. to preregister, or call (630) 232-6060. The parade steps off at 12:30 p.m. from in front of the Geneva Public Library at Second and James streets, and proceeds to South Third Street.

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After the parade, the Geneva Angels cheerleaders and entertainer Rick Kelly will perform on the Central Stage, followed by performances by the Sunset Dancers and Geneva Gymnastics Jumpers, plus juggler Jason Kollum.

Kids also can play free carnival games on the Kane County Courthouse lawn, and youths in second through fifth grades can compete in the popular Geneva Fire Department Fire Hose Challenge from 1 to 3 p.m.

After the Kids' Day fun downtown wraps up, children 3 to 15 can head to Wheeler Park for miniature golf, from 3 to 7 p.m. Teens 13 and older may play both Friday and Saturday evenings from 9 p.m. to midnight. Those glow-in-the-dark golf balls add a touch of fun to the game.

Kids' Day is sponsored by Delnor Hospital, which also is sponsoring a 15-minute Summer Exercise Class for toddlers, from 9 a.m. through 2 p.m. on the Kane County Courthouse lawn.


Other fun for the younger set includes Creation Station at Campbell and Third streets, which features a new event daily; the always-popular 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament on Saturday (preregistration is required by Tuesday, June 23 and may be made by calling Mike Contreras at the Geneva Park District, (630) 262-2212); and a lingonberry pie-eating contest, also on Saturday. Age divisions are 8 to 15, and 16 and older. Registration is from 3 to 3:30 p.m., while the contest is from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Those 17 and younger must have a parent or guardian sign a waiver form.

Another popular event for kids is Pets on Parade. And the pet doesn't even have to be real! The parade begins at Wheeler Park at 10 a.m. Saturday. Categories include Pet Tricks, Famous Pairs, Faux Pets (stuffed animals) and Best-Dressed Ensemble. Preregistration is requested by calling the chamber office at (630) 232-6060. EB Creative will be on hand to take free photos of pets and people.

Following the pet parade, real animals, Sky Dogz, will perform acrobatic leaps while retrieving round discs and running races.

On Thursday, a new event lets kids do well for others. "Do Gooder" Day is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Creation Station. Kids can bring a grocery item (no glass items!) to donate to the Northern Illinois Food Bank, and then help decorate the boxes to be used for food delivery. They also can take home a green bean seedling, after coloring their own plant box, and learn about Victory Gardens and community gardens.


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