Geneva’s 72nd annual Swedish Days is a midsommar festival that blends Scandinavian elements with pure Americana. The fun continues through Sunday, June 26.
The ABBA tribute band Dancing Queen will perform Thursday, June 23, and Friday’s entertainment will be The Boy Band Night, both outdoor shows starting at 7 p.m.
Looking ahead to Saturday and Sunday, visitors can continue to pick their favorite pastimes from among arts, music, a craft brew tent, shopping at boutiques’ sales, activities for children, and carnival thrills, all capped by a giant parade stepping off at 1 p.m. Sunday. While exploring the town set along the Fox River, sample the array of foods from booths operated by nonprofit groups. The town is known for its restaurants, and several will add beer gardens and entertainment for the festival.
For people looking to immerse themselves in Scandinavian culture and foods, a section of downtown is devoted to all things Swedish. And across the river at Good Templar Park, guided tours will be offered of historic Swedish cottages or stugas, and the nearby Viking, an exact replica of a ship dating to the ninth century. The vessel on display was the one sailed from Norway to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, to prove the journey possible.
This afternoon offers a vocalist in concert, and Nordic folk dancers. The Saturday night lineup begins at 5 p.m. with the internationally known Swedish quintet Jaerv, which blurs folk, jazz and pop, followed by a Minnesota-based rock band called Necessary Diversion. Taking the outdoor stage at 7 p.m. with soulful vocals and signature sax, the six-piece group performs the best of ‘70s and ‘80s rock up to Adele and everything in between.
On Sunday, the cottage and Viking ship tours continue among other events. Swedish Folk will play Scandinavian folk and dance music on accordion, violin and guitar from 11 a.m. to noon before the Grand Parade. The carnival operates from noon to 5 p.m. that day.