Geneva’s Swedish Days opens with eye on the future
By Denise Linke For The Beacon-News June 19, 2012 4:42PM
Danny Cooper 6, of Geneva IL, works on his art work for the 100-year time capsule that will be placed in the Herrington Inn's attic and opened in 2012, on Tuesday, June 19, 2012 in Geneva IL. | Terence Guider-Shaw~For Sun-Times Media
Kids and family activities — begin at 10 a.m.
Carnival — 11 a.m.-10 p.m., courthouse parking lot
Geneva’s Got Talent Semi-finals — 6:30 p.m., Main Stage on South Third Street
ABBA Salute — 8 p.m., Central Stage on South Third Street
For more, visit www.genevachamber.com or call 630-232-6060
Updated: July 21, 2012 6:08AM
GENEVA – What will Geneva be like in 2112?
As part of this week’s Swedish Days summer festival, residents of all ages are invited to write or draw their ideas of how the city will change over the next 100 years.
This crystal ball gazing is a highlight of the Swedish Days Creation Station from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. each day of the festival through Saturday. The station, on the north side of the Kane County Courthouse lawn at Third and James streets, provides paper, crayons, colored pencils, markers and work tables.
Of course, people whose guesses turn out to be right probably won’t be able to say, “I told you so.” All the responses collected this week will go into a time capsule that won’t be opened until Swedish Days 2112, said Creation Station volunteer Susan Tobiaski.
“(Activity sponsor) Shodeen came up with the idea,” she said. “I don’t know if they were inspired by the City Hall time capsule that was opened last month, but that was pretty popular.”
The time capsule idea obviously appealed to new resident Hilary Braden, a senior citizen who moved to Geneva last month from Valparasio, Ind. On the first day of Swedish Days, she painstakingly drew a scene of the Fox River flowing past River Park.
“I believe the Fox River will still be here and will be as popular as it is now,” Braden said as she signed her work and placed it in the time capsule chest.
Younger correspondents to the future had different ideas. “One little girl said she thinks Geneva will be rusty 100 years from now,” reported volunteer Carol Griffin.
Geneva resident Lisa Cooper brought her children – Maggie, 8, Danny, 6, and James, 5 – to Creation Station because they wanted to contribute to the time capsule.
“We just started geocaching, so the idea of hidden treasure is still big with them,” she explained. “I told them they don’t have to finish their drawings today. We can take them home and bring them back in a few days.”
That was good advice for Danny Cooper, who was meticulously drawing the courthouse, brick by brick. “I think it will be here in 100 years because it’s already been here 100 years,” he said. “I like the cannons, so I’m going to put them in the picture, too.”
Eight-year-old Phoebe Lyons of Geneva designed an entire high-tech mass transit system for the Geneva of the future, complete with buses on rails and personal hover cars that will let residents and visitors float up to second-story stores and rooftop restaurants downtown.
“I think they will have flying cars 100 years from now,” she said. “They’ll be faster than airplanes, and they can hover over the tour bus so people can take the bus and then get in their car and go up to the floor of the restaurant or store they’re going to.”
Her mother, Kim Lyons, expressed a simpler dream for Geneva’s future.
“My hope is that we retain the quaint atmosphere we have going now while advancing in environmentally friendly energy use like solar panels,” she said.
After the time capsule is filled Saturday, Shodeen officials will seal it and place it in the Herrington Inn’s attic, where it is expected to stay until June 2112.
“It’s going to be really fun when it’s opened and people can see all the predictions we’re gathering,” Tobiaski said. “I wish I could be there to see it.”
Swedish Days opened Tuesday and continues until Sunday throughout downtown Geneva.