Winterfest 2020 is over, but will not be forgotten.
Lake Geneva Winterfest 2020 was a huge success, and one so great that it could not have been predicted. The weather was not perfect, the roads were not great and parking was at a premium, but there it was. Visit Lake Geneva made several recent staff changes and there is no question these things contributed to the success of Winterfest in Lake Geneva. Many new events and activities were included this year. Winterfest, as always, highlighted the US National Snow Sculpting Competition, but the crowds came out for so much more. The ice sculptors were a great addition to the annual cocoa crawl throughout downtown Lake Geneva, bringing out record crowds. The Riviera Beach was free of the ice castle this year, and some were worried about the possible negative effects of that, while others saw it as an opportunity to enjoy some great gatherings. Bonfires on the beach, fire performances, and great fun were all held on the beach and very well attended. Flat Iron Park, also added some more fun to the mix with a larger kid’s area for creativity and play. Typically, great events end with a firework display, but Winterfest went a little grander. Laser Fusion lit up the Riviera and sky with a crowd-pleasing and amazing laser light show. The 25th Anniversary of Lake Geneva’s Winterfest 2020 is one that will be hard to beat in the future.
Grand Champion Snow Sculpture
Ice Sculptures on the Street of Lake Geneva 2020
The Ice Castle opened on Friday, January 31st, but for how long?
The ice castle, located in Geneva National, opened last Friday and was sold out for the first night. The ice castle had a late opening this year due to the unseasonably warm weather and could have an early closing for the same issue. How well can a castle of ice hold up with many days consistently going above the freezing mark? Many of the residents living on the grounds of Geneva National are all for a very short season for the event and some would have preferred not to have had it at all. The Geneva National is privately owned and does not follow the same guidelines as a public location would when it comes to hosting an event. The owner of Geneva National approved the ice castle to reside there this year, not the association, and certainly not the residents. The need for permits was not an issue (the owner did check with the Town of Geneva) as it is private property and no public space, including roads, needed to be closed or altered. However, the residents of Geneva National were asked to use the back entrance and leave the main entrance for the ice castle patrons, and that did not make the residents happy at all. The ice castle company may have presented Geneva National with an “offer they couldn’t refuse” but then left the residents out in the cold.