LAKE GENEVA — While we may be entering the summer with cautious optimism, everyone is hopeful about the prospect of a season jam-packed with activities and events. Lake Geneva has been an exceedingly popular tourist destination for decades, a resort town and a community that is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from Beloit.
Visit Lake Geneva Executive Director Stephanie Klett is especially excited about the summer ahead, stating emphatically that “We are open, fired up and ready to go.”
The Lake Geneva area is indeed ready to roll this summer and it may be the perfect place for a weekend getaway or a simple day trip.
If you’re ready to see live music again, make sure to check out the Flatiron Concerts in the Park. These are happening every Thursday from July 1 to Aug. 1 and are a well-loved Lake Geneva tradition. The concerts allow people to enjoy the outdoors and beautiful lakeside scenery while taking in some free music. Performers range from the bluesy sounds of Matt Meyer and Smooth Riders to the “Rat Pack” throwback tunes of Tony Ocean.
Also happening at Flatiron Park is the Art in the Park, an annual juried fine art show. This celebrates all manner of artistic endeavors: pottery, painting, printmaking, and more in a beautiful lakefront setting. Art in the Park is happening on Aug. 14 and 15.
If one thing is for certain, it is that festival season in Wisconsin is back.
Keep an eye out for Venetian Fest, happening Aug. 18 through the 22. Klett said this festival has a very “electric, party vibe.” The Venetian Fest, like many gatherings, was canceled last year so Klett is anticipating a great turnout of excited revelers, ready to take in events such as the Jaycees Boat Parade, fireworks, and live music.
In nearby Elkhorn, two major festivals will give people an opportunity to indulge their culinary side or their affinity for German culture. On July 15 through the 18, the Walworth County Fairgrounds will play host to the Elkhorn Ribfest. While not technically within the city limits of Lake Geneva, it is a well-loved event in the area. The competition portion of the festival brings together BBQ experts from far and wide competing to be the best in the country.
Remarking on the last Ribfest she attended, Klett said that she “ate so much that she got sick” and she was thrilled that the event was back for 2021 after its cancellation due to COVID in 2020. The Ribfest also features a packed musical lineup and a carnival.
Also in Elkhorn is the DAS Fest, happening Aug. 13-15. This celebration heralds all things German, from polka to brats to lederhosen. Featuring an Oktoberfest vibe in a family-friendly atmosphere, the DAS Fest also benefits over forty non-profit agencies.
Going beyond the festival scene, there is still a wealth of activities available to visitors and citizens alike in the Lake Geneva area.
If fancy houses are your thing, book a tour with the Lake Geneva Cruise Line. This tour lasts about three hours and takes you up close and personal with the stateliest Lake Geneva mansions.
You can also satiate your voyeuristic tendencies and check out the lakeside estates on the Lake Geneva Shore Path, which cuts directly through the yards of some of the homes.
If you enjoy having a little magic in your life, the Tristan Crist Magic Theatre offers Master Illusionist Tristan Crist’s stellar show. Ranked one of the Top 24 Best Things to Do in Wisconsin and Lake Geneva’s #1 Attraction by TripAdvisor.
Lake Geneva also offers a wide variety of shopping options as well as an incredible lineup of unique restaurants, such as Medusa Grill & Bistro, Simple Café or the Geneva Chophouse. This summer will see the start of The Riviera renovation as well as an indoor glamping event (for those not “in the know,” glamping is “glamorous camping”).
This summer, after so many months spent with nothing but Netflix and naps to fill their days, people are going to be ready to try it all. Lake Geneva is offering new and varied options for events and entertainment all summer long. So, if it has been some time since you’ve checked out the beautiful resort town on the lake, make it a stop on your “post-COVID shutdown” tour.
To see everything Lake Geneva has to offer, week by week, check out www.visitlakegeneva.com.