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updated: 7/10/2013 1:49 PM

Festival offers free family fun

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Kari Miller

Windmill City Festival has become a tried-and-true tradition for many local families. The festival features countless activities over the course of two and a half days. Whether you visit the carnival, compete in a 5k, participate in the pet parade or dive in to an ice cream eating contest, every member of the family is sure to find a new favorite activity! This year's festival will be held Friday, July 12 through Sunday, July 14 at the Riverwalk in downtown Batavia. Admission is free.

Mark your calendar and be sure to drop by the downtown area to enjoy Batavia's biggest event of the summer! The Windmill City Festival committee includes representatives from the Batavia Park District, Batavia Chamber of Commerce and the City of Batavia.

Unique Offerings

The Tour Edge Golf Challenge is back by popular demand! Take your shot at chipping a hole-in-one on a floating green in the Depot Pond. Hours of operation will be 2:00 -- 6:00 p.m. on Saturday and 1:00 -- 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. Prizes will be awarded for landing on the green or making a hole-in-one. The cost is $5 for five shots.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! A 100-foot gutter will house hundreds of scoops of ice cream for the Ice Cream Eating Contest at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 14. The contest is sponsored by Foltos Tonsorial Parlor and the Batavia Creamery.

Hit one out of the park at the Wiffleball Home Run Derby! Compete in one of three age groups for a chance at prizes. Each contestant will get 10 pitches to earn points. Bats and balls will be provided, but participants must supply a pitcher. The home run derby is sponsored by the Kane County Cougars.

Favorite Traditions

The Craft Show & Flea Market creates a shopper's paradise along the scenic Fox River. Stop by and browse a variety of vendors from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13.

Suit up your pet rabbit, turtle, cat or dog for this year's Pet Parade on Saturday, July 13 at 10:00 a.m. Participants can register from 9:15 - 9:50 a.m. near the main stage. Prizes will be awarded in eight categories, including Best Trick, Most Unusual Pet, Best Costume and Best Kisser. Each participant will receive a free goodie bag and contest winners will receive prizes courtesy of local retailers. Anderson Animal Shelter will be conducting an adoption event on site, weather pending.

Runners take your mark and prepare to tackle the Fox River Trail on Saturday, July 13 at 8:30 a.m. during the Windmill Whirl 5K Run. The course covers some of the most spectacular scenery of the Fox River Valley. Registration is $25 per runner before Wednesday, July 10 or $30 on race day. Additional information and a registration link can be found at signmeup.com.

Fun for Adults

There is no reason why adults should feel left out of the loop at this year's festival! There is a variety of offerings for the big kid in you, including a bags tournament, live bands and an adult-division in the ice cream eating contest! Grab a partner and "Toss for a Cause" in the Batavia Parks Foundation's annual bags tournament at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday, July 13. Cash prizes will go to the top two teams. After the bags tournament be sure to stop by the food booths and the beer garden.

For more information about Windmill City Festival or for a complete schedule of events, please visit www.windmillcityfest.org.

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