GENOA – A Sunday morning sprinkle was only a minor inconvenience to the gathering celebrating the fifth annual 2019 Genoa Volksfest, and more than 2,000 ducks raced down the Kishwaukee River for the Great Genoa Duck Race.
Event coordinator Cortney Strohacker admitted that the rainy weather was less than ideal.
“But we can’t control the weather,” she said. “Everybody’s had a smile on their faces, and we’re all going with the flow.”
Hosted by the Kishwaukee Valley Wanderers and the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce, the festival took place at Carroll Memorial Park from Friday through Sunday.
With a hula hoop contest – won by 9-year-old Brynn Bridger, the PTO fun fair, a petting zoo, bounce houses, a $6 Boy Scout burrito breakfast hosted by Troop 71 and other attractions, there was plenty to keep busy.
Friday night kicked off with Christian rock band Waiting for the Weekend and special guest Tin Leopard. Saturday morning feathured a free 6K/10K “Volksmarch” along the scenic Kishwaukee River. At 3:30 p.m., samples of wine and beer from more than 20 local vendors were available for a $25 admission fee.
Johnny Russler and the Beach Bum Band provided a live soundtrack for the tasting.
But the main event was the duck race.
“The festival grows every year. We keep adding events,” Strohacker said.
The first-place prize of $500 went to Samantha Delatorre.
“Places like Genoa have some of the most fun and interesting people,” said Jennifer Lechelt, of the Genoa Athletic Boosters. “They’re so invested in the small town – it’s like the motto says, ‘Small-time town, big-time pride.’ ”