There are two simple rules to ensure a comfortable holiday parade experience.
They’re so simple, in fact, that I rarely follow them. As a result, I usually head back to my car after a wintertime parade feeling the onset of hypothermia and cardiac arrest.
It’s easy to avoid such unpleasantness by going early to a parade and dressing warmly, two things I have struggled with most of my life.
On Saturday, Dec. 7, Lake Geneva’s 44th annual Electric Christmas Parade begins at 5 p.m. Take my advice: Arrive at 4 p.m. or earlier.
It is my experience that parking options dwindle rapidly in the hour before the parade kicks off.
Two years ago, we got to Lake Geneva a half-hour before the parade and spent 20 minutes hunting for a parking spot.
The closest I could find to Broad Street was the Eastview School lot, near the skate park.
Not a bad walk if one has a winter coat, a scarf, hat, gloves — things seasoned Wisconsinites should not leave home without in December.
Having covered probably at least 50 parades during my time on the news staff at the Lake Geneva Regional News, it might be safe to assume I would know better than to go to a parade wearing just a hoodie over a T-shirt.
But no, I still do not. Funny how, even growing up in Wisconsin, one can easily forget how quickly temperatures can drop.
For more about the parade, go to visitlakegeneva.com/christmasparade.
Lake Geneva isn’t the only city having a Christmas parade Dec. 7.
Elkhorn’s 38th annual Christmas Card Town Parade starts downtown at 1:30 p.m.
For more about Elkhorn’s parade, go to www.visitelkhorn.com.
The options for family yuletide festivities are seemingly endless this week.
There are tree lightings, Santa breakfasts and Christmas parties throughout the area.
Following are some regional holiday events, free unless otherwise noted:
Tree lighting: Friday, Dec. 6, 5 p.m., at Flat Iron Park, Lake Geneva. Santa Claus visits. Hot cocoa and cookies will be served.
Victorian Christmas: Dec. 6, from 5 to 9 p.m., downtown Sharon. Dress in Victorian period costumes, watch a lighted carriage parade. Visit historicdowntownsharon.com for details.
A Night with the Grinch: Dec. 6, 6 p.m., Geneva Lakes Family YMCA, 203 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva. Visit Whoville and the Grinch, create holiday crafts, play Grinch games and more.
Tree lighting: Dec. 6, 6:30 p.m., at the downtown square in Elkhorn. Santa Claus lights the tree, followed by a reception with Mr. and Mrs. Claus at Matheson Memorial Library.
Waffles/photo with Santa: Dec. 7, 7:30 to 11 a.m., Lakeland School, Highway NN, Elkhorn. School fundraiser features Lakeland School Choir performing at 9 and 10:15 a.m. Tickets $8 for adults, $6 for ages 5 to 10, free ages 4 and younger. Visit Facebook page for more details.
Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 7, 8 to 11 a.m., Badger High School, 220 E. South St., Lake Geneva. Music, youth activities, breakfast. Tickets $8 for adults, $5 for ages 3 to 12.
Breakfast with Santa: Dec. 7, 8 to 11:30 a.m., Grand Geneva Resort & Spa’s Evergreen Ballroom, 7036 Grand Geneva Way, town of Lyons. Cost $35 ages 13 and older; $20 ages 6 to 12; $12 ages 2 to 5; free to ages 2 and younger with paying adult. Call 262-249-4788 to make reservations.
Pancakes with Santa: Dec. 7, 8:30 to 9:30 a.m., Salvation Army-Army Lake Camp, N8725 Army Lake Road, East Troy. Tickets $9 adults, $7 ages 5 to 12. Call 262-729-0051 for more information.
Christmas Tree Walk: Dec. 7 from 2 to 6 p.m.; and Dec. 8, 14 and 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Walworth County Historical Society, 103 E. Rockwell St., Elkhorn. Trees will be on display, with holiday items sold at the society gift shop. Call 262-903-3315 for details.
Merry Magic Christmas: Dec. 7, starting at 6:30 p.m. at Geneva Theater, 244 Broad St., Lake Geneva. Santa Claus appears in theater lobby. Illusionist David Seebach performs at 7:30 p.m. Tickets $15 adults, $10 ages 11 and younger. Visit geneva4.com for details.
Breakfast with Santa: Sunday, Dec. 8, 8 to 11:30 a.m., Grand Geneva Resort & Spa’s Evergreen Ballroom. Cost $35 ages 13 and older; $20 ages 6 to 12; $12 ages 2 to 5; free to ages 2 and younger with paying adult. Call 262-249-4788 to make reservations.
The Silver Screen Movie Club will show the “The Peanut Butter Falcon” Dec. 5 at 9:30 a.m. at Geneva Theater. Free admission with club card. Visit silverscreenmovieclub.com for more information.
Wakeboarding in December? The aptly titled Freezin’ For a Reason has water-skiers, surfers and wakeboarders braving the chilly Geneva Lake waters Dec. 7 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. near Gage Marine and Pier 290 Restaurant, Williams Bay. Event benefits Santa Cause, which supports numerous area charities. Visit freezinlakegeneva.org for details.
Mountain Top Beer Fest Dec. 7 from 2 to 5 p.m. brings live music, raffles and more to Alpine Valley Resort, W2501 Highway D, Elkhorn. Tickets $37 in advance, $45 at the door, or $25 with a daily lift ticket. Visit alpinevalleyresort.com for details.
Geneva Lake Conservancy’s Holly Ball 2019 starts Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. at Big Foot Country Club, 770 Shabbona Drive, Fontana. Meal, silent auction, dancing and conservancy’s award presentation. Tickets $175 each. Call 262-275-5700 or visit genevalakeconservancy.org for details.