The holiday lights will be shining brightly in downtown Batavia Sunday, Nov. 25, as the Batavia Park District kicks off the season with Celebration of Lights Festival from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Batavia Riverwalk. Admission is free. This popular event has become a tradition for many families and includes a community sing-along, tree lighting ceremony, story hour, visit with Santa and more.
The city of Batavia is hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony for River Street at 4 p.m. prior to the festival. Families are encouraged to attend the ribbon cutting and then dine downtown before heading to the Riverwalk at 5:30 p.m. for the community sing-along and arrival of Santa.
Batavia business owner Craig Foltos will play the master of ceremonies until Santa arrives at 6 p.m. Mayor Jeff Schielke will greet Santa and together they will light the community Christmas tree. After the tree lighting, Santa's Warming House at the Peg Bond Center will open, and children up to age 10 who visit with Santa will receive a special gift while supplies last.
From 5:30 to 7 p.m., there will be free tractor-pulled wagon rides with food or $1 cash donation, with proceeds benefiting the Batavia Interfaith Food Pantry. There will be free roasted chestnuts and a family photo opportunity at the main stage of Peg Bond Center. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be for sale by the Batavia Teen Center. The Batavia High School Madrigal Choir will be performing carols.
From 6:15 to 7 p.m., the Batavia Public Library will host story time at the Gustafson Research Center, located in the lower level of the Batavia Depot Museum. There also will be a Batavia Fire Department bake sale fundraiser.
Stop by Christmas Tree Lane and see trees decorated by local organizations.
There is free parking north of the Batavia Government Center, 100 N. Island Ave. The festival is presented by the Batavia Park District in partnership with the Batavia Chamber of Commerce, Batavia MainStreet, the city of Batavia and the Batavia Police Department. For more information, call the Batavia Park District at (630) 879-5235 or view the schedule of events at www.bataviaparks.org.