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Return of Swedish Days Parade on Sunday closes out Swedish Days festival in Geneva

As a lifelong Geneva resident, Brittany Martin has fond memories watching the Swedish Days Parade over the years.

So she was happy to watch the parade again on Sunday after it wasn’t held in 2020 and 2021 because of the pandemic. The parade closed out this year’s Swedish Days festival, which kicked off June 22.

“It was really, really exciting to have it back, especially seeing the South Shore Drill Team and The Jesse White Tumblers,” she said. “It felt like everything was back to normal. It was really good to have the parade back.”

Lyla Blanchard with Royal Carriage Ltd. and her horse Beau, participate during the annual Swedish Days Parade in downtown Geneva on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The parade marked the last day of the festival which ran from June 22-26.

Lyla Blanchard with Royal Carriage Ltd. and her horse Beau, participate during the annual Swedish Days Parade in downtown Geneva on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The parade marked the last day of the festival which ran from June 22-26. (Ryan Rayburn/)

She was glad the temperatures Sunday were cooler than they have been.

“It was a perfect day,” Martin said. “Sometimes it’s been a little too hot.”

Martin, who has Swedish roots, was watching the parade while decked out in a T-shirt featuring the Swedish flag along with a flower crown on her head. Martin and her children were watching the parade along State Street in front of The Gift Box, which sells Scandinavian gifts and food.

Her mom, Jeanne Martin, is manager of The Gift Box.

George Rieber, who has called Geneva home since 2001, also was happy to see the parade back. The parade serves as an opportunity to see old friends.

”It’s like a celebration of family and friends that we have in the area,” Rieber said.

He rents out the Preservation restaurant on Third Street in downtown Geneva for a parade watching party.

“I don’t know how many years we’ve done it,” Rieber said. “It’s fun.”

Shea Heimlich, 7, of St. Charles, waves a Swedish and American flag as he watches the annual Swedish Days Parade on S. 3rd Street in downtown Geneva on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The parade marked the last day of the festival which ran from June 22-26.

Shea Heimlich, 7, of St. Charles, waves a Swedish and American flag as he watches the annual Swedish Days Parade on S. 3rd Street in downtown Geneva on Sunday, June 26, 2022. The parade marked the last day of the festival which ran from June 22-26. (Ryan Rayburn/)

Geneva resident Randy Pomaro rushed back from a weekend of camping in Wisconsin to watch the parade with his family. His wife, Sarah, grew up in Geneva.

“My wife has been watching it her whole life,” he said. “We were camping this weekend and we packed up early and hustled back here so we would be here in time for the parade.”

Seeing the South Shore Drill Team and The Jesse White Tumblers also were highlights for Pomaro.

“And, of course, all the Shriners,” he said. “I just love the Shriners. My kids always like seeing their friends in the parade.”

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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