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13 things to do
1. Whitewater Storytelling Festival — Friday-Sunday, Sept. 23-25, various Whitewater area locations. Visit the Whitewater Storytelling Festival Facebook page or whitewaterchamber.com.
The second year of the festival will collect local and regionally known storytellers, art galleries and creativity-inspiring activities this weekend. Visit the Whitewater Chamber website for a full schedule.
There are numerous activities from which to choose throughout the weekend. Below are some highlights.
Introduction to Telling Family Stories with Jim May: Sept. 23, 4:30-6 p.m., Jessica’s Family Restaurant Banquet Room, 140 W. Main St., Whitewater. Register at whitewaterchamber.com. Space is limited.
People are also reading…
Sip & Tell: Sept. 23, 6:30-9 p.m., Jessica’s Family Restaurant Banquet Room. With Chad Johnstone, Sarah Beth Nelson, Daniel Graupner and May.
Guess How Much I Love You: Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:30-10:30 a.m., Cravath Lakefront Community Center, 341 S. Fremont St. Free workshop with a musical instrument “petting zoo,” music, movement and singable stories.
Children’s Story Zone: Sept. 24, 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Cravath Lakefront Park Tent. With Coral Conant Gilles, Karen Wendt, Justina Vickerman and Angie Alesci.
All-ages sets: Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., main stage at Cravath Lakefront Park Amphitheater. Featuring May, Nelson, Graupner, Conant Gilles, Vickerman, Elizabeth Matson and Doug Way.
Author Visit with Steve Rhinelander: Sept. 24, 5 p.m., The Book Teller, 171 W. Main St. The author will read from his new book, “Poutine and Gin.”
Spooky Stories & Music: Sept. 24, 6:30-9 p.m., Cravath Lakefront Park Amphitheater. With Way, Johnstone and Conant Gilles.
UW-Whitewater Music Mosaics Faculty Showcase: Sept. 24, 7:30 p.m., Light Recital Hall. See article in this week’s Resorter for more about this event.
Cars & Coffee … And Tales: Sunday, Sept. 25, 9 a.m.-noon, Lake Home Info Grounds, W7644 Kettle Moraine Drive. A car show, plus the Story Stroll around Whitewater’s Downtown and Historic District.
2. Williams Bay Homecoming Parade — Friday, Sept. 23, starting at 4 p.m., Downtown Williams Bay.
Parade will begin at Lions Field on Williams Street, then travel south on Williams to East Geneva Street, then head east to Edgewater Park. The American Legion Motorcycle Riders from Lake Geneva and the Geneva Lakes VFW Post 2373 Color Guard will lead the parade. The homecoming football game is at 7 p.m. Williams Bay plays Abundant Life Christian.
3. Delavan Homecoming Parade — Sept. 23, starting at 4 p.m., West Walworth Avenue, Delavan.
Delavan-Darien School District students and others from the community will start the parade at Aram Public Library, down Walworth Avenue, to the Delavan-Darien High School. Followed by a free pig roast from 5 to 6:15 p.m. At 6 p.m. is a ribbon cutting for the new Borg Stadium. Football begins at 7 p.m. versus Monroe High School.
4. Delavan-Darien Rotary Artisan Festival — Saturday, Sept. 24, starts at 10 a.m., Congdon Gardens, 1424 Hobbs Drive, Delavan. Visit the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club Facebook page for event updates and more information.
Free event with numerous artisans, authors and crafters, plus balloon art, face painting, glitter tattoos, a bounce castle, kids art area, service dog demonstrations and performances by the Delavan Darien High School String Choir and the RC Juggles Variety Show. The festival is also a celebration of the Delavan-Darien Rotary Club’s 100th anniversary. See article in this week’s Resorter for more information.
5. Classic Car & Tractor Show — Sept. 24, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., Pearce’s Farm Stand. Visit Pearce’s Facebook page for event updates. Classic car and tractor show, along with more modern farming equipment. Concessions available.
6. Murder Mystery Dinner: Death of a Gangster — Sept. 24, 7-9 p.m., The Abbey Resort, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana, theabbeyresort.com. Tickets: $83.74 with taxes and fees.
A three-course dinner and a unique mystery. Head to the fictitious Dunn Speakeasy in the 1920s for the wedding of the year. With two crime families merging together, someone loses their life and it’s up to those at the dinner to find the murderer. Guests are encouraged to dress up in flapper dresses, zoot suits, feather boas and fedoras, or regular wedding attire.
7. Multinational Fall Festival — Sunday, Sept. 25, 11:30 a.m.-5 p.m., St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, 148 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. Visit the church’s Facebook page or sfdslg.org.
Music, dance and food from around the world, including barbecue pork from the American South, Mexican tacos and sides, Vietnamese spring rolls and sides and foods from Poland, Germany and other countries. Also a raffle with a $10,000 grand prize, children’s activities, auctions and more.
8. Wine Dinner Cruise: Chateau Ste. Michelle — Wednesday, Sept. 28, 6-8 p.m., Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, lakelawnresort.com. Tickets: $119. Book online. A Delavan Lake cruise aboard the Lake Lawn Queen. Guests will enjoy a four-course meal paired to wines from Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.
9. Haunted Hayride/Haunted Hay Barn — Starts Friday, Sept. 30, Dan Patch Stables, Grand Geneva Way, Town of Lyons, danpatchstables.com.
The Halloween fun begins at the stables, located near Grand Geneva Resort & Spa. Dan Patch offers a hayride and a haunted house-style experience in a barn, with a bonfire and concessions on site. Cash only.
Tickets for the Haunted Hayride go on sale at 5:45 p.m. and are sold on a “first come first scared” basis. Cost: $20 adults, $10 ages 4-10, free ages 3 and younger. Rides run from 6 p.m. to midnight. First few rides are kid friendly, with no loud noises or monsters jumping in the wagons. Scarier rides start around 7 p.m. Each ride is 20 to 25 minutes long, with two tractor-pulled wagons going all night.
Haunted Hayride schedule: Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29. On Oct. 30, rides run from 6 to 10 p.m.
For the Haunted Hay Barn, tickets are $10 per person. Ages 5 and younger free. Attraction runs from 6 to 11 p.m. on the same days as the Haunted Hayride, except the last day for the Hay Barn is Oct. 29.
10. Walk of Terror — Starts Sept. 30, 3072 Graydon Ave., East Troy, thewalkofterror.com.
Located at the East Troy Beer Tent site on the Lions Club grounds, one has to sign a waiver to enjoy the frights of this 2021 Haunted Wisconsin Visitors Choice Award winner. Tickets are $15 general admission online, $20 at the gate, $30 Fast Pass online, $40 Fast Pass at the gate.
The Walk of Terror is open every Friday and Saturday through Oct. 29. Box office is open from 6:30 to 10:30 p.m. A new attraction, The Vault, is open from 7 to 11 p.m.
There are also Black Out Thursdays Oct. 13, 20 and 27, where guests enter The Vault with only a small beam of light to illuminate their path. Of course, the creatures of the night are also in there, too. During Black Out Thursdays, box office is open from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The attraction is open from 7 to 10 p.m.
11. Free comedy show — Sept. 30, 7-9 p.m., Rush Creek Distilling, 1501 W. Diggins St., Harvard, Illinois. Visit the Rush Creek Facebook page. Some of the Midwest’s best comics are performing for free at the distillery.
12. Elkhorn Holiday Craft Bash — Saturday, Oct. 1, 9-4 p.m., Walworth County Fairgrounds, 411 E. Court St., Elkhorn, walworthcountyfair.com. Admission: $5.
Over 300 crafters, artisans and food booths will be at this event, formerly known as the Holiday Affair Craft Show. Proceeds to benefit Barnyard Adventure Agriculture Education at the Walworth County Fair. All booths located on the fairgrounds. Free parking.
13. Fourth Annual Craft Brew Open — Oct. 1, Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St., Delavan, lakelawnresort.com. Tickets: $189 per two-person team.
An Oktoberfest-themed Ryder Cup-style tournament with food, beer samples and more. Fundraiser to benefit Open Arms Free Clinic. See story in this week’s Resorter for more about the event.
Late Summer Show — Now through Sept. 25, Gallery 223, 223 Broad St., Lake Geneva, genevalakeartsfoundation.org.
View over 100 works from area artists. There are paintings, drawings, jewelry, ceramics, photographs, carvings and other media from members of the Geneva Lake Arts Foundation. The exhibit is free, open during gallery hours, Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Farmers Markets — Lake Geneva Farmer’s Market: Every Thursday, rain or shine, 8 a.m.-1 p.m., Horticultural Hall, 330 Broad St., Lake Geneva, horticulturalhall.com; Geneva Outdoor Market: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., N3252 County Road H, Town of Geneva, genevaoutdoormarket.com; and Whitewater City Market: Every Tuesday through October, 4-7 p.m., Historic Train Depot, 301 W. Whitewater St., Whitewater.
Autumn Harvest Fest at the Elegant Farmer — Saturdays & Sundays, Elegant Farmer, elegantfarmer.com.
Elegant Farmer’s annual Autumn Harvest Fest includes apple picking; train, pony and hayrides; a corn maze and laser tag; a farmer’s market and the Smilin’ Barn Café.
According to the Elegant Farmer site, admission and parking are free. Apple prices are $15 a half-peck, $25 a full peck, and $45 a half bushel. Pumpkin pricing: $4 pie pumpkins, $6 medium, $9 large, $12 extra large. Gourds are $1 each, squash $3 each.
Tractor-pulled hayrides are $7 adults, $5 ages 3-11, free for ages 2 and younger. Pony rides: $10. Train rides are through the East Troy Electric Railroad. Tickets are $15 adults, $12.50 seniors, $9.50 children. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit easttroyrr.org.
Corn maze tickets are $7. Children ages 2 and younger free. Last entry into the corn maze is at 4 p.m. Laser tag open to ages 8 and older.
Guided Nature Hike at Bromley Woods — Friday, Sept. 23, 9 a.m., W5798 Greening Road, Town of LaGrange. Visit the Geneva Lake Conservancy Facebook page to register.
Take a hike with the conservancy to one of the oldest oak trees in Walworth County, a 350-year-old white oak on the border of Bromley Woods and Kettle Moraine State Forest’s Southern Unit. The trail is a 1.2-mile loop, rated moderate, with a few steep hills as it winds through the Kettle.
Second Annual Barn Project — Sept. 23, 6 p.m.; and Saturday, Sept. 24, 4 p.m., Sugar Creek Barn, W5907 Pierce Road, Elkhorn, peterstathasdance.com. Tickets: $10 virtual, $15 live. Purchase online.
Peter Strathas Dance returns to Sugar Creek Barn for its second residency, collaborating with dance artists from Wisconsin, Illinois and New York. Featured choreographers Sept. 17 are Dawn Springer and Amy Wilkinson. On Sept. 23 and 24, featured choreographers are Sara Hook and David Parker.
Hackmatack Seed Harvest — Saturday, Sept. 24, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Hackmatack National Wildlife Refuge, N541 County Trunk H, Bloomfield. Visit the Geneva Lake Conservancy Facebook page to register.
The conservancy and the Kettle Moraine Land Trust are hosting a seed collection outing in celebration of 2022 Land Trust Days. Volunteers will work under the guidance of professionals from the trust and the conservancy. Long pants and sleeves, closed-toe shoes or boots and sun hat are recommended. Volunteers should also bring a seed collection bag and their own water. A reusable grocery bag is fine for seed collection.
The Official End of Summer Party — Sept. 24, 9 p.m.-2:30 a.m., Thumbs Up, 260 Broad St., Lake Geneva, thumbsuplakegeneva.com. Drink specials. Women who wear swimwear receive half off all drinks from 9 p.m. to midnight.
Lakeland Audubon Chapter Meeting — Tuesday, Sept. 27, 7-8 p.m., Lions Field House, 270 Elkhorn Road, Williams Bay.
Beth Goeppinger, a retired naturalist who worked for many years at Richard Bong State Recreation Area, will give a talk titled “Migrating Monarchs” at this meeting, which is free and open to the public.
Thumbs Up Bingo Night — Wednesday, Sept. 28, 9 p.m.-midnight, thumbsuplakegeneva.com. Win free drinks and merchandise, cash prizes and more.
White River County Park Volunteer Work Day — Friday, Sept. 30, 9 a.m., 6503 Sheridan Springs Road, Town of Lyons. Visit the Geneva Lake Conservancy Facebook page to register. Help remove invasive buckthorn from the park. The conservancy will provide loppers and gloves, but volunteers should wear hard-soled, closed-toed shoes and dress for the weather.
Best Resorter covers of 2021: A look back at Geneva Lake seasons, events