Photo 7 Niv Memories Karin and Carl Wanek photo by  Kimberley Kelly

Karin and Carl Wanek in a western theme for a Night in Venice celebration.

Night in Venice at the Kelly house is a true family event for my family. Kimberley Kelly and I have been friends since birth! I have been going to NIV with my parents and sisters from the time I was 1 in 1977, and I’m now 42. I called Kim’s grandparents my Mimi and Pop too! My husband, Carl, who has been coming for over 20 years and is always the one who wears a crazy costume, and I love being able to help with this event each year. We love bringing our children and seeing their faces light up at the boats. And they love to help set up too! Picking the theme is always the tricky part. Back in the day, Pop and Neil would cut out wood pieces for decorations and Kim and I would be painting the whole week before NIV. Mimi and Cynthia would be cooking all day for the party, but they always made us lunch. We’ve toned it down the past few years but the party never gets toned down! There’s nothing better than when the boats are going by and someone yells "HIP-HIP!" and seeing the fourth generation with smiles on their faces and joy in their eyes and belting out a "HOORAY!" for the boats going by.

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