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posted: 11/26/2013 4:05 PM

Santa to arrive in Batavia at tree-lighting ceremony

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  • Join the community singalong and tree lighting ceremony at the annual Celebration of Lights Sunday in Batavia.

    Join the community singalong and tree lighting ceremony at the annual Celebration of Lights Sunday in Batavia.


Submitted by Batavia Park District

On Sunday, Dec. 1, the Batavia Park District kicks off the season with Celebration of Lights Festival from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Batavia Riverwalk. This popular event has become a tradition for many families and includes a community singalong, tree-lighting ceremony, story hour, visit with Santa and more.

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, located 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.

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 information, call the Batavia Park District office at (630) 879-5235 or view the schedule of events at

Admission is free; there is free parking north of the government center. The Batavia Community Band will perform from 5:30 to 7 p.m. There will be free hayrides with food or cash donation. New or gently used coats, hats and mittens are also welcome. Donations benefit the Batavia Food Pantry.

Enjoy free roasted chestnuts. Take a family photo opportunity on the main stage of Peg Bond Center. Hot dogs and hot chocolate will be for sale by the Batavia Teen Center. Stop by the Batavia Fire Department Bake Sale.

At 5:45 p.m., join in the community singalong, led by Craig Foltos, Foltos Tonsorial Parlor

At 6 p.m., join Mayor Schielke in welcoming the arrival of Santa. The ceremonial tree lighting will feature the Christmas Tree Lane "People's Choice" award winner

At 6:15 p.m., visit Santa at the Peg Bond Center warming house and receive a special holiday gift (children under 10 while supplies last). From 6:15 to 7 p.m., enjoy the "Story Hour," hosted by the Batavia Public Library, at the Gustafson Research Center, located in the lower level of the Batavia Depot Museum.

Stroll through Christmas Tree Lane with trees decorated by local organizations. New this year, voting will take place on the Batavia Park District's Facebook page for the "People's Choice Award" winning tree. View photos of all 25 trees and then "Like" your favorite to submit your vote. The winning business or organization will get to help light the ceremonial tree with Mayor Schielke.