Young, old come together for Geneva street festival

Authored by By Jim Langham on Aug 18, 2014

Miranda Cochrane was all over the Kid’s Zone trying to learn how to use a hoop at the Summer’s End Street Festival in Geneva on Saturday evening. Sometimes she rolled with the hoop, then resiliently jumped up and tried again.
“She’s something else,” said Miranda’s father, Brian Cochrane, as he laughingly watched his daughter. “This is a great thing. It’s a good way to bring kids and families together.”
For Ashleigh Freeman and Tristian Jones, an all-out wadded napkin war broke out in the midst of the aroma of barbecued chicken being made by Geneva Volunteer Fire Department.
Geneva Chamber of Commerce executive director Pam Krause said that fun breaking out with the likes of Freeman and Jones represented exactly what Chamber members intended for the Summer’s End Festival.
“This is absolutely phenomenal,” commented Geneva leader Stan Mosser. “It helps people in this community to appreciate what we’ve got. People have appreciated what the Limberlost and other organizations have done here all summer.
“We’re a tight community,” continued Mosser. “School is starting; everybody is back from vacations. It’s a great way to get together and visit at the end of the summer.”
Lifetime area resident, Bob Ralston, a veteran of the Korean War, was amazed that he had seen someone he hadn’t talked to in 30 years.
“I can’t see very well anymore, but I sure enjoy the food,” said Ralston with a smile.
Marian Morgan praised the young people on the town youth council for organizing a Kid’s Zone with face painting, games and contests for children.
“The kids do this every year,” said Morgan. “They’re so good at helping around town.”
For the Geneva Volunteer Fire Department, barbecuing chicken and burgers and selling other goodies was a great opportunity to raise money. Other money from the festival went toward the fund geared to renovate the Soldier’s Memorial Park in downtown Geneva.
At 7 p.m. the Junk Yard Band broke loose with music that created an atmosphere for dancing on the street and clapping hands as part of the fun event.
“This is just a fun way to spend a summer night,” said Geneva businessman Mike Schwartz. “The community gathers together for fellowship; it’s a cheap way to have fun and visit with each other.”
“It’s a fun way to get together for a party every year,” noted Cathy Mitchel. “It gives us a chance to see people that we haven’t seen in a long time.”
Special helpers included volunteer firemen, Bill Warren, Janet West and Art Booth. Penny Briggs, West, Amy Lehman, Krause, Sally Burry and Christy Franks took care of bartending.
On Friday evening, many of the town’s residents gathered at the Limberlost State Memorial for a birthday party honoring the town’s famed writer, Gene Statton-Porter. On Sunday afternoon, a crowd gathered back at the state site for the summer’s second bluegrass music festival.

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