A colorfully costumed, winged performer from Dragon Knights

Of Wheels and Water

Boating season is drawing to a close, but Fontana, Wisconsin and next-door Lake Geneva will be bustling this weekend. The 11th Annual Geneva Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show gets underway at the Abbey Resort and Spa while just down the road, the annual Geneva Lake Classic Car Rally revs up.

At 9 a.m. on Friday, September 24th, the boating crowd can take a 9 a.m. estate and garden tour through some of Lake Geneva’s gorgeous waterfront mansions. A highlight: The Ferro home, where the third floor holds an elaborate model train set, an 0-gauge extravaganza once housed in the Museum of Science and Industry. The circuit chugs from a miniature version of the Loop, through the suburbs, around the Great Lakes Naval Base, past a traveling circus and an outdoor movie theatre before finally stopping at a replica of the home itself. From 5 to 8 p.m., car enthusiasts should check out the cocktail party the Cove of Lake Geneva.

On Saturday, look for the main events for both wheeled and water vehicles. At 10 a.m., roughly 90 boats go on display in the Abbey Marina. New this year: Visitors can join in the annual parade around Lake Geneva by boarding a cruise that will bring up the rear as the show boats make their way over the water. Post-parade, the passenger cruise ($21) will continue with a tour of Lake Geneva’s scenic highlights. Over at the car show, the vehicles go on display at 9 a.m. on the 800 block of Wrigley Drive across from the Riviera. A parade begins at 11 a.m.; at 6 p.m., a sock hop kicks off at the Chalet in the Lodge at Geneva Ridge.

Both shows close on Sunday, also the unofficial beginning of off-season in the resort town. Cars motor back to their garages around 1 p.m. and the boats heading for dry dock—or warmer climes—by 2 p.m.

GO The 11th Annual Geneva Lakes Antique and Classic Boat Show. Fontana Harbor at the Abbey Resort and Spa, 269 Fontana Blvd., Fontana, Wisconsin; 630-802-2698, genevalakesboatshow.com

GO The Geneva Lake Classic Car Rally. Broad Street and Wrigley Boulevard, downtown Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; 262-245-4532, genevalakeclassiccar.com


  • The Lodge at Geneva Ridge; rates range from $134 to $149. W4240 State Road 50, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; 800-225-5558, genevaridge.com
  • The Cove of Lake Geneva; rooms range from $149 to $350. 111 Center St., Lake Geneva, Wisconsin; 800-770-7107, cove-lake-geneva.com
  • The Fontana Country Inn-Suites; rates on Fridays and Saturdays range from $150 to $195 a night. W5869 Brick Church Rd., Fontana, Wisconsin; 262-275-2878, wisvacations.com/fontanasuites