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Genoa gearing up for Volksfest this weekend

You haven’t been to Volksfest in Genoa yet? What are you waiting for? Join us this year as we celebrate with our fifth Volksfest Festival.

Genoa’s Volksfest is a weekend-long festival for the people! There will be something for everyone, including Rockin’ the Kish, Volksmarch, a Craft Beverage Festival, Boy Scout Burrito Breakfast, Ducky Day’s Fun Fair sponsored by the Genoa-Kingston PTO and the Great Genoa Duck Race.

Everything will take place at the beautiful Carroll Memorial Park along the Kishwaukee River under the Big Top in Genoa from Friday through Sunday.

So let’s break this thing down – what is happening, when is it happening, and how can you be a part of it?

On Friday, we will be Rockin’ the Kish with a night of rock and worship. Rockin’ the Kish is an all-ages event that will take place from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8. Children younger than 10 get in free. A portion of the ticket sales from the evening will go to the Genoa Food Pantry.

This year we will have the Christian rock band Waiting on The Weekend as the headliner, with the opening act of the Tin Leopards. Come out for free Specher craft soda floats. Food will be available for purchase from several food vendors and OpenDoor coffee will be there with their fresh-brewed coffee and iced tea. Come out for a night of great music, volleyball and family fun on the Kish.

Saturday starts with the Volksmarch, which means “people’s march” in German. It is a noncompetitive fitness walk of either 6K or 10K. The path winds along the beautiful Kishwaukee River and through Genoa. You are welcome to begin any time between 8 and 11 a.m. This event is free family fun and stroller- and dog-friendly.

Saturday continues with the Craft Beer and Wine Festival. Join us for the best local festival of the fall season. Craft beer brewers and wineries from within 60 miles of Genoa will be showcasing their best offerings under the Country Financial Insurance Big Top. From 3:30 until 7:30 p.m. your $25 general admission ticket will get you samples from 20-plus artisan beer and craft wine vendors. Tickets can be purchased online at or at the gate. Local bus routes will be available again this year – check for bus routes.

Come out for tastes of local flavors and enjoy the musical talents of Johnny Russler & the Beach Bum Band. Hear the tropical sounds of Caribbean rock, reggae and calypso in their original music along with songs by Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Paul Simon, Sublime, Jerry Jeff Walker and Zac Brown Band. Don’t miss this fun and vibrant local band.

Sunday is the culmination of a great weekend with The Great Genoa Duck Race.

The morning will begin bright and early at 8 a.m. with the Boy Scouts’ burrito breakfast. The Scouts will be preparing burritos and pastries with milk and juice, all served by local scouting members.

The final events will begin at
10 a.m. with the Genoa-Kingston PTO Ducky Day’s Fun Fair and The Great Genoa Duck Race. The event is bigger and better than ever this year, and will include music from the Genoa-Kingston Marching Band and local D.J. legend Jake Wesner. Also featured will be jump houses, face painting, paintball, knockerball, duck bingo, a hula-hoop contest, touch a truck, free pony rides and more.

The race starts at 1 p.m. when more than 2,000 ducks will compete for a chance to win $500. Get your ducks today at the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, Tobinson’s Ace Hardware, First Midwest Bank or Genoa Auto Parts. Ducks also can be purchased until noon on race day at the event site.

See you at the river!

If you have questions about any of the Volksfest festivities or would like to know how to be involved, call the Chamber office at 815-784-2212. We look forward to seeing you at one or all of the 2019 Volksfest Weekend events.

• Cortney Strohacker is executive director of the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce.

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