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updated: 12/20/2013 12:51 PM

180th birthday on New Year's Eve features local band

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  • Jeff Schielke

      Jeff Schielke

  • Thousands gather Dec. 1 at the Celebration of Lights Festival on the Batavia Riverwalk to sing holiday songs with the Batavia Community Band. The band will be back on New Year's Eve as the city welcomes in the new year at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31.

       Thousands gather Dec. 1 at the Celebration of Lights Festival on the Batavia Riverwalk to sing holiday songs with the Batavia Community Band. The band will be back on New Year's Eve as the city welcomes in the new year at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 31.
    John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 

Batavia is planning a little party on New Year's Eve to celebrate its 180th birthday.

Which either happened in 2013 or will happen in 2014, depending on how you look at the matter, according to Mayor Jeff Schielke, an expert on the town's history.

Christopher Payne, the first settler, came to the area in 1833 and liked what he saw, Schielke told the city council this week. But because the Blackhawk War was going on, Payne skedaddled back to the Naperville area. He returned to Batavia, permanently, in 1834.

"Who cares?!" Schielke said. "But at the end of the day, at midnight at the end of the year, we can best describe it as the 180th birthday of Batavia."

The city's celebration will be at 9 p.m., not midnight, so it will be friendly to families with young children, and others who don't care to stay up until midnight.

The new Batavia Community Band has agreed to play a few songs, and The Friends of Batavia Fireworks committee will sell hot chocolate, to raise money for the Fourth of July fireworks show.

The New Year's Eve show will be short; the city is going to spend $3,000, with $1,000 out of the general fund and $2,000 from the Batavia ACCESS fund.

The event will be at the Peg Bond Center on the Batavia Riverwalk, 100 N. Island Ave.

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