With Christmas a week from today the holiday spirit is in abundance. The hustle and bustle of last minute planning and prepping is filling the air. Families and friends will be gathering, gifts will be given, and hearts will be full. For many the meaning of Christmas begins at church and most churches will be having gatherings and fellowship throughout the season. The Christmas celebration can be started Saturday, December 21st from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at a reception, including refreshments, cookies and caroling by an assortment of choirs at Linn Presbyterian Church on Willow Road. This is the same church that does the wonderful rummage sale every year, and also saved all those Walworth people from the great flood. The Holy Communion Episcopal Church on Broad Street is also celebrating Christmas in a big way and inviting all to come to a beautiful Candle Light Christmas Eve Service at 9 p.m. This is the church that saved their wonderfully historic giant organ.
At last week’s Lake Geneva’s Tourism Commission meeting,
Deanna Goodwin was accompanied by the newest member of the Visit team, Bethany Souza. Not only did Deanna give the usual update on recent happenings and what’s coming up, but she also presented an application for a fifty-thousand-dollar tourism grant to help in the revamping of the big Winterfest event this year. Winterfest will be held from Wednesday, January 29th through Sunday, February 2nd. It is slightly shorter than previous years, but if all goes well, Bethany, Visit’s new events coordinator will have added activities and increased excitement.
She would like to see more structure in the events line-up, starting with the kids sculpting area, and adding possible instruction and interactive fun for the whole family to join in on as they stroll through the sculpting displays. Nighttime activities will also be added, centering around the sculpting teams that work vigorously throughout the night, including possible light shows to encourage more overnight stays in Lake Geneva. Bethany also presented the idea of bringing back the Ice Bar to next year’s Winterfest, or possibly during the lull in events that follows the Winterfest crowd. The idea was presented by Bethany herself, and not as a representative of Visit.
She suggested that it could be held as a private event if it does come to be. This is a big year for Lake Geneva’s Winterfest as it will be celebrating its 25th Anniversary and revamped schedule. The tourism commission did show excitement during the presentation but not enough to merit awarding the entire grant. Tourism commissioners questioned how Visit has funded the event in the past and why this year was different and needed more funds. Visit did get approved for thirty-five thousand dollars out of the fifty thousand, to be used for promotional purposes.