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Happenings: Tacos, bluegrass & corn — three big events in Lake Geneva, Darien & East Troy
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Happenings: Tacos, bluegrass & corn — three big events in Lake Geneva, Darien & East Troy


The information presented here is subject to change. To have an event appear in this column, email us at

Welcome to Taco Fest

Usually, there’s one big event each weekend. This time, there are three — Lake Geneva Taco Fest, Darien’s Cornfest and the East Troy Bluegrass Festival.

A brand-new event, Taco Fest is Friday through Sunday, Sept. 10 to 12, at Lake Geneva House of Music, N3241 Highway H, town of Geneva.

Expect live music, authentic Mexican entertainment on two stages, and of course, tacos. There’s even a chihuahua beauty contest, a mechanical bull and a kids corner.

Numerous taco dishes will be served — dessert tacos, steak, shrimp and chicken tacos, vegetarian tacos, and much more. As of this writing, 22 food vendors are slated to serve guests at Taco Fest.

There will be performances by the Dance Academy of Mexico, Lake Geneva House of Music students and more.

Sept. 10: Jalapeno eating contest 7:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Sept. 11: House of Music students 1 to 2:30 p.m.; Hot pepper eating contest 2:30 to 3 p.m.; Dance Academy of Mexico 3 to 4 p.m.; and piñata 4 to 4:30 p.m.

Sept. 12: Dance Academy of Mexico noon to 1 p.m.; chihuahua beauty contest 1 to 1:30 p.m.; piñata 1:30 to 2 p.m.; Dance Academy of Mexico 2 to 3 p.m.

For more about the live music at the event, see this week’s Live Music listing.

Taco Fest hours are Sept. 10, 5 to 11 p.m.; Sept. 11, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sept. 12, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Ticket prices are cheaper before Sept. 10.

In advance, daily passes $10 per person, per day; $5 for children under age 12. Weekend passes $20 per person, $10 for children under 12.

On Sept. 10, daily pass prices are $15 per person, per day; $10 for children under age 12. Weekend passes are $30 per person, $15 for children under 12.

Free admission for children ages 5 and younger.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit

The event is sponsored by the city of Lake Geneva and organized by House of Music and the Lake Geneva Regional News.

Happy 60th, Cornfest!

Also Sept. 10 to 12 is the 60th Annual Darien Cornfest, with most activities located in Darien West Park, 335 W. Madison St., Darien.

There are numerous activities, including a parade; carnival rides; and the German game Hammerschlagn — where contestants try to hammer a nail into a stump — plus crafts and merchandise.

But wait, there’s also free sweet corn from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 11 and 12.

Below is a breakdown of Cornfest activities throughout the three-day event. For musical entertainment, see this week’s Live Music listing.

Sept. 10: Co-ed softball 6 p.m. Fireworks 9 p.m.

Sept. 11: DDSAB Breakfast 7:30 to 10 a.m. Darien Women’s Club Carmel Apple Delights 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Corn Hole Tournament noon. Mini-rod Tractor Pull 12:30 p.m. Also 32-team softball tournament, volleyball and horseshoes tournaments, bingo.

Sept. 12: Darien Women’s Club Carmel Apple Delights 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Liberty Bike Ride 11:15 a.m. Downtown Darien parade noon. The Big Corn Shell-out 3 p.m. Raffle drawing 4 p.m. Also men’s softball and horseshoe tournaments, bingo.

For more details, visit or the Darien Cornfest Facebook page.

Bluegrass at Alpine Valley

The East Troy Bluegrass Festival is 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 11 and 12.

The event has a new location this year — Alpine Valley Resort, W2501 County Road D, Elkhorn.

According to the festival’s Facebook page, the venue was moved out of East Troy’s village square this year due to road construction.

The East Troy Bluegrass Festival will be outdoors at Alpine, overlooking the ski hill.

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Several bluegrass acts are expected to perform during the event. For details on gigs, see this week’s Live Music listing.

There will be an open stage for bands, duos and trios to perform Sept. 11 at 10 a.m., and a band scramble at 2 p.m.

On Sept. 12, a gospel service featuring the Noah and Anna Siegmann family is at 10 a.m. Banjo, fiddle, mandolin and guitar contests start at 11:30 a.m.

Weekend wristbands $10. Ages 15 and younger free admission.

Visit or the festival’s Facebook page for more details.

More events

Wednesday, Sept. 8

Astronomy in the Park 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Price Park Conservancy, N6418 Hodunk Road, Elkhorn. Dan Koehler, formerly of Yerkes Observatory, will lead participants through a beginner’s presentation designed to introduce basic observing techniques for celestial objects. If inclement weather, event may be rescheduled to Tuesday or Wednesday, Sept. 14 or 15, from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Dress for the weather. Donation of $20 is suggested. Visit for more information.

Thursday, Sept. 9

Swift Night Out 5:30 p.m. until dark, Geneva Lake Museum, 255 Mill St., Lake Geneva. Witness thousands of Chimney Swifts as they circle and swoop into the museum’s tall chimney. Food trucks open 5:30 p.m. At 6:30 p.m., CBS Channel 58 Milwaukee meteorologist Michael Schlesinger will introduce a birding program from the Schlitz Audubon Nature Center, featuring an eagle and other raptors. Guests will watch the birds circle the chimney at dusk.

Friday, Sept. 10-Sunday, Sept. 12

28th Annual Barrel Blitz, Walworth County Fairgrounds. Numerous barrel races, plus dog race the evening of Saturday, Sept. 11. Cash and awards for racers. Visit the Facebook event page for more information.

Friday, Sept. 10

Walworth County’s Senior Travel Club meeting 10 a.m., Como Community Church, W3901 Palmer Road, town of Geneva. Julie Juranke, of the Aging & Disability Resource Center, will give a presentation. The club will also discuss the cancellation of its October trip, and future trips in November, December and 2022. Call 480-463-6782 for more details.

Saturday, Sept. 11

1st Annual Bee Festival 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., N3252 Highway H, town of Geneva. Rick Salmann will give an educational presentation, plus children’s activities are part of the fun at this celebration of the honey bee. Visit Geneva Outdoor Market Facebook page for updates.

Move For a Cause 2021 10 a.m., Lake Geneva Public Library, 918 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. Annual 1-mile and 5K fundraiser for Inspiration Ministries. Check-in 9 a.m. at Inspired, 883 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. To make pledges or for more details, visit the event Facebook page or

Touch A Truck 10 a.m. to noon, Big Foot High School east parking lot, 401 Devils Lane, Walworth. Hands-on experience with fire trucks, police cars, farm tractors and more. Kids Power Wheels Parade starts 11 a.m. Parade is for children who have decorated their own Power Wheels vehicles.

Sarah Combs benefit starts 11 a.m., Spoondogger’s Pell Lake, N1320 S. Lake Shore Drive, Bloomfield. Raffles, dunk tank, bingo and more. Proceeds to help Combs, who was in a motorcycle accident. Visit Spoondogger’s Facebook page for more information.

The Lights Fest 4 p.m., Country Thunder grounds, 2305 Lance Drive, Twin Lakes. Live music, food trucks and the highlight — literally — is when event participants ignite their Tiki torches and set their personalized sky lanterns to fly in the air. Tickets $46 for ages 13 and older, $10 for ages 4 to 12. Visit The Lights Facebook page for more details.

Tuesday, Sept. 14

Meet Author Jennifer Parker 6 to 7 p.m. Parker wrote “Coercive Relationships: Find the Answers Your Seek.” Lake Geneva Public Library’s Zoom program also includes Suzi Shoenhoft, of New Beginnings APFV. They will discuss Parker’s book and intimate partner abuse. Email to register.

Wednesday, Sept. 15

September Book Club of Lake Geneva Public Library meeting 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Avant Cycle Café, 234 Broad St., Lake Geneva. Discussion will be about “There There” by Tommy Orange. Meeting can be attended in person or via Zoom. Register for Zoom portion by emailing

Beer & Bourbon Cruise 6 to 8 p.m., Lake Lawn Resort, 2400 E. Geneva St. Head out on Delavan Lake aboard the Lake Lawn Queen while sampling and savoring Lakefront Brewery brews and Woodford Reserve Distillery bourbon. Cost $85 per person. For full menu and pairings, visit

Friday, Sept. 17

FALZ FEST Alzheimer’s fundraiser by Primex Family of Companies and Lot of Love 5 to 9 p.m., 965 S. Wells St., Lake Geneva. Includes bags, food trucks, kids area, raffles, silent auction, live music by Karen Shook, and beer, wine and soda. Tickets $15 for ages 12 and older, free for younger children. Visit event page to purchase tickets and for more information.

Big Foot at the Movies 5 p.m., Sharon Community School, 104 E. School St., Sharon. Movie to be announced. Admission $1, concessions available.

Saturday, Sept. 18

Walk to End Alzheimer’s 8:30 a.m., Library Park, 918 W. Main St., Lake Geneva. Opening ceremony 9:40 a.m. Emcee is Aaron Sims, Milwaukee Admirals announcer. There will also be a Promise Garden ceremony before the walk. The walk begins 10 a.m. Participants will walk on Geneva Lake Shore Path. After, they will receive complimentary pre-wrapped hot dog lunch grilled by Lake Geneva Jaycees, donated by Piggly Wiggly. Petty Thieves will perform at the event. visit to register and for more details.

21st Annual Scarecrow Fest 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., downtown Delavan. Includes guided Walldog mural tours, DIY scarecrow building workshops, free pumpkins, children’s activities, food trucks, craft and vendor fairs, live music by the Sonic Boomers, Paulie and the Poor Boys, and Pink Fraud with Laser Fusion at the Phoenix Park Bandshell. Visit event page on Facebook or, or call 262-728-600, for more details.

1/2 Way to St. Patrick’s Day party 9 p.m. to 2:30 a.m., Thumbs Up Saloon, 260 Broad St., Lake Geneva. Shamrocks, green beer, various drink specials and free party favors.

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