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Fest season heats up with 6 this weekend

During Sweden Väst, the Swedish American Children’s Choir dances around the Maypole.  |  Submitted
During Sweden Väst, the Swedish American Children’s Choir dances around the Maypole. | Submitted

From boating to barbecue, there is plenty to do this weekend.

Here’s a rundown of several festivals happening in the area this weekend.

Swedish Days

At 65 years young, Geneva’s Swedish Days festival is still coming up with new ways to excite fest-goers.

Geneva Chamber of Commerce’s 65th Annual Swedish Days Festival returns mid-week on June 17 and runs through June 22 in several locations in downtown Geneva.

New this year are a kids-only event called Fair on the Square and a specialty craft beer tent, said Laura Rush with the Chamber of Commerce. Fair on the Square is at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

“It’s just fun, entertaining kids’ thing. It’s different from Kids’ Day. We still have Kids’ Day on Friday. We’ve got a couple performers coming; we’ve got a face painter, a balloon maker. And it’s all free,” she said. “That will parlay right into 6 o’clock, which starts the Colonial Ice Cream Eating Contest.”

Thursday athrough Sunday is Craft Brew at 402 at the corner of Fourth and State. (402 is the address of the lot on State Street.)

“We have three local breweries that will be providing craft beer. So it’s a beer tent, but it’s a craft beer tent,” she said.

Penrose, Two Brothers and Solemn Oath are the three breweries that will provide the craft beer.

Since it’s the 65th anniversary, each evening’s entertainment will be themed to a decade, Rush said.

“We start Tuesday with the Crown Vics doing the ’50s and we end with 7th Heaven doing ’90s (music) to now,” she said. “So the performers will only play music from that decade and they will dress like that decade. We’re encouraging people to come down dressed in clothes from that decade.”

Libido Funk Circus represents the 1970s. Modern Day Romeos covers the 1980s on Friday night.

The festival includes lots of food booths, a Geneva’s Got Talent contest, the Swedish American Children’s Choir, concerts on the lawn, a carnival and a traditional Rosemaling show.

Sweden Vast is back on Saturday featuring all things Swedish; including singers, dancers, food, a Maypole, crafts and even a Skype session with people in Sweden.

“Last year, quite a few people knew Swedish, and they would sit down and converse in Swedish, and it was really neat to see that connection and interaction,” she said. “The idea is to learn about and immerse yourself in all things Swedish.”Back again is the Creation Station for kids. Friday is Kids’ Day, and that includes a children’s parade plus lost of activities for kids.

Illinois Paddlesports Festival and Art in the Park

June 14-15

Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive, Aurora

Free

illinoispaddlesportsfestival.org

The sixth annual Illinois Paddlesports Festival takes place this weekend is a two-day affair on Mastodon Lake in Aurora that spotlights the sports of canoeing and kayaking. It includes activities both on water and land for beginners and experts alike.

There will be free boating lessons, vendor demonstrations and special offers and skill competitions. Beginner to advanced classes will be offered in canoeing, kayaking and standup paddleboard from experienced instructors.

Patrons can also rent a canoe and kayak and paddle on Mastodon Lake. Children will want to check out the Kid’s Kayak Pond or the Youth Canoeing class.

Running jointly is the Art in the Park event featuring live music, artists displaying and selling their creations and a wine tasting event (as well as other food and drink available). The festival starts at 9 a.m. and Art in the Park runs from noon to 5 p.m.

Elgin Ribfest

June 13-15

Festival Park, 132 S. Grove Ave., Elgin

$5

(847) 608-5017

Elginribfest.com

This three-day extravaganza of music and food takes place at Festival Park in Elgin. The hours are 5 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

On Friday, the bands performing are the Rob Post Band, Kinetic and Infinity. Saturday’s bands include the Hix Brothers Showcase, Serendipity, Cinful, Evolution and 7th Heaven. Children’s Theatre of Elgin will also perform in the afternoon.

On Sunday, you’ll hear fromTynan, Q Balls, Diver Down and Mike and Joe. The Cadillac Ranch Dance Team will also perform.

In addition to the music, there will be a Swapadventure swap meet, plus vendors like EpicAir Trampoline Park, RNR Studios and Origami Owl.

There will be several barbecue-themed food vendors on site, as well as traditional kettle corn, Italian ice, pizza and funnel cakes.

There will also be kids’ games.

Oswego Prairiefest

June 12-15

PrairieFest Park, 91 Plank Road, Oswego

Free

(630) 554-1010

prairiefest.com

Night Ranger is the headliner at this year’s Oswego PrairieFest, presented through Sunday by the Oswegoland Park District at PrairieFest Park.

Known for hits like “Sister Christian” and “Sing Me Away,” Night Ranger will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday.

Other featured performers include Luke Underhill, Laura Doherty, Modern Day Romeos, Rusted Root and Billy Croft and The Five Alarm.

Events include a quilt show, carnival, petting zoo, pony rides, children’s games and activities, an Expo Village, reptile show, magician, demonstrations from local dance groups, a kid’s fishing clinic and bingo.

Additionally, there will be a car show on Sunday, a 5K race, country market, community worship service, Rotary duck race and bed races.

Art in Bloom Fine Art Fest

June 14-15

Cantigny Park, 1S151 Winfield Road, Wheaton

$5 per car

(630) 668-5161

prairiefest.com

More than 80 juried artists will descend upon Cantigny Park for the annual Art in Bloom Fine Art Fest.

The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. In addition to the juried artists working in a variety of mediums, they will be displaying and offering their works for sale.

Graffiti artist Won Kim returns, and there will be a children’s art project, Cantigny “monster” mural, live demonstrations, food and music from Classical Blast and Guitarra Azul.

Aurora GreenFest

June 14

Prisco Community Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave., Aurora

Free

(630) 708-6589

auroragreenfest.com

The fifth annual Aurora GreenFest is from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday in the Prisco Community Center and McCullough Park.

The event features a Children’s Eco-Village with games, art and activities, and a trade show with more than 100 eco-friendly exhibitors from the Fox Valley area.

Plus, there will be exhibits with bees, eagles, chickens and bats; a green car expo featuring electric vehicle conversions and new models, a recycling extravaganza and Music from Maxwell Mojo and the Hix Bros Ukulele Club Band by the Fox River.

The Recycling Extravaganza requests unused art supplies, books, cloth diapers, clothes, computers, cell phones, electronics, foam No. 6, medications, musical instruments, rags and shoes.

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