The Bright Side
The Lake Geneva Regional Pork News Fest is approved and funded and the planning has begun.
Everything will be bacon in Flat Iron Park on May 8th, 2021 from 11 a.m. until 7 p.m. Bacon Fest was originally planned for 2020 but was canceled due to the virus. The event will feature vendors offering bacon-inspired appetizers and other bacon-themed food (the vendors likely have to pay for space). The event is hoping to offer beer and wine as that permit is expected to be approved (charges for that ought to be up there somewhere). The Regional News was granted $25,000 to put on this delicious event and is has partnered up with the Walworth County Food Pantry and Diaper Bank (well, not necessarily to ‘partner’ the money). Bacon Fest is more than food and beverage, offering live music from bands that have ties to Lake Geneva. Of course, security will be provided for the fenced-off beer tent area and anti-virus safety will be a priority. The event originally was to be a free event but that was changed for rather obvious reasons. Tickets are now available online by going to the Bacon Fest Facebook page and clicking on the link under ‘tickets.’ The cost for admission to the event is $5.00 if paid in advance, and $10.00 at the gate, (because they can). Just pay it, however, and then shut up (unless you want to be in the local crime section of the paper). Tickets are purchased in one-hour time slots and, with the pandemic guidelines still being followed, you may want to play it safe and plan ahead. Oh, you must pay the vendors for the bacon stuff you order and consume too (now, come on!).
Last Monday morning the Business Improvement District (BID) met, with a routine agenda of updates.
Currently, the BID is working on ‘Open Late Fridays’ to be held in downtown Lake Geneva. The board is encouraging businesses to stay open till 8 p.m. (although it didn’t tell all the businesses about it), and offer special sales or menus, activities, demonstrations, and promotions. It’s up to each individual business to decide how it wants to participate in the event, and what it wants to offer. The trial run for the Open Late Fridays was Friday, March 5th, which was a ’mixed review’ event. Numerous businesses were not aware that this was a ‘thing’. Whether the lackluster performance was about a lack of businesses being notified by email (one wonders whether the BID has an email for every downtown business), or a lack of advertising for this event, is not known. Having the BID create a newsletter and/or a group Facebook page would assist in communicating with the downtown business district. Hopefully, going forward, the event will grow, and the BID would like to have special flags outside the businesses to designate which ones are participating, plus having live music, food samples, and activities.
The next big event for the BID is the ever-popular wine walk, scheduled for Mother’s Day, Sunday, May 9th. Tickets always sell out quickly, and tickets for this year’s event will go on sale in early April. It’s also time again for the BID to start thinking about, and discussing, Oktoberfest. The ideas have started flowing with ways to make the event better and to utilize all of the downtown areas without eliminating any parking stalls. There’s thought of adding a wine garden, along with the beer garden, and possibly extend the event into Monday, in hopes of adding additional overnight stays on Sunday. VISIT Lake Geneva is busy planning Restaurant Week, which will be held April 24th to May 2nd. One of the changes with the virus is that restaurants are encouraged to offer individual and family-style meals ‘to go.’ with special menu items for those nine days.
Also, new this year is the sponsor for donations to support the program. The new sponsor will be announced soon and is donating $9,000 to local charities which will be voted on by patrons of Restaurant Week. First place will be $5,000 and the next four runner up’s will each receive $1,000. VISIT is also in the process of hiring bands for Concerts in the Park, which will be coming back Thursday nights in Flat Iron Park this summer. VISIT is also reaching out to local businesses to partner with and bring food trucks and snacks. There are lots of good things happening in Lake Geneva, and a lot to look forward to this year.