Polo, and Shakespeare on Clark: what do these things have in common? The answer is "kings" and "Batavia." Polo was the sport of kings, and Shakespeare was the art of kings, and now both are happening this summer in Batavia, one in support of the other.
The annual Polo Tournament at Blackberry Polo Field hosts teams from around the county, and this year ticket sales to the championship game will go to support Batavia MainStreet's Shakespeare on Clark project.
The polo match will start at noon Sunday, July 17, at the fields, off Bliss Road, half-mile south of Main Street. It will last until one team emerges victorious. Cost is $10 per person or $30 per carload.
This match becomes family friendly during the fundraiser game. Families and groups drive into the field area and are encouraged to tailgate, bringing in lunches and beverages and setting up pop tents to make this a festive experience.
Prizes will be awarded for the best tailgater decorating their area, dressing and creating menus to suit the theme of "I Believe in Magic."
To go with the theme, there will be a variety of other activities offering entertainment for the attendees, featuring wagon rides around the field pulled by the famous Clydesdale horses. During the match, the crowd is encouraged to stomp back divots between chuckers, and will learn the rules of the game as the announcer calls the game and takes time to explain what and why events are happening.
There will be lots of raffle prizes to go around, from golf outing to dinners around town.
Tickets for this event can be purchased at the Batavia MainStreet office and All Dressed Up Costumes in Batavia.
Fifty percent of the revenue from the event will go to Batavia MainStreet to support Shakespeare on Clark.
This summer, "The Merry Wives of Windsor" will be performed as if it occurred in the old West, with gunslingers, roustabouts and saloon girls.
The play has been edited to 90 minutes of enjoyable, understandable fun. Shakespeare on Clark is free to the public, with a pass the hat donation requested before the show.
Shakespeare on Clark is produced each summer without the financial support of any organization, but does receive marketing support from Batavia MainStreet, free use of the Island from the Batavia Park District, and free costumes from All Dressed Up Costumes.
All other expenses must be covered via the pass the hat donations.
This year expenses are estimated to come in between $4,000 and $5,000 for sound equipment rental, print materials, i.e. posters, programs, scripts, scenery and properties.
Everyone working on the production is a volunteer, donating their time to the project.
"The Merry Wives of Windsor" will open July 29 and play on Clark Island for three weekends. Show times are 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturday and 6 p.m. Sundays. Audience members are encouraged to bring out their lawn chairs and blankets and picnic on the island before the show.
There will be plenty of entertainment preshow with music, jugglers, and old west dancing and gun shows. Clark Island is on the Fox River just south of Wilson Street, with access and parking on either side of the island.
The other 50 percent of revenue will go to The Oswego Playhouse.
For complete details on both the polo tournament fundraiser and "The Merry Wives of Windsor,"you can visit the website jesterscourtyard.com.