Batavia Parks Foundation joins in #PeaceDay celebration Sept. 21

The Batavia Parks Foundation recently announced Batavia's participation in the United Nation's International Day of Peace on Wednesday, Sept. 21.

A team of enthusiastic volunteers is working alongside the Batavia Parks Foundation to stage the first ever Batavia #PeaceDay celebration, sponsored by Drendel & Jansons Law Group.

The event is inspired by and coincides with the U.N.'s annual celebration, amplifying their 2022 theme of "End Racism, Build Peace."

The celebration will be held at the Peace Bridge and Riverwalk South Plaza at 100 N. Island Ave. downtown from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Craig Foltos, event master of ceremonies, is pleased to see the Peace Bridge as the backdrop to host the new #PeaceDay in Batavia, "What started as a simple community singalong on the Peace Bridge is growing into a way for Batavia to come together and amplify our voices as a community modeling peace to others."

#Peaceday starts at 5:30 p.m. and features different performing artists: musicians, dancers, a poetry reading, storytelling, and the lighting of luminarias at sunset with a community singalong. The event also includes #Peaceday merchandise sales, a luminaria decorating station, and "Play it Forward" raffle sales to benefit the Peace On Earth project.

Purchase LED luminarias and LED candles for the #PeaceDay celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 21. Courtesy of Britta McKenna

LED luminarias and LED candles will be available for attendees; free with a suggested donation to support the project. Out-of-town supporters wishing to send a message of peace or remembrance may sponsor a luminaria online at

Those planning to drive to the fest may park on either side of the river near the Peace Bridge. Limited seating on the South Plaza limestone benches is available, or participants can bring along a chair if needed.

Peace On Earth campaign update

The "Peace On Earth" campaign recently eclipsed the halfway mark (55% of goal) with $27,940 in funds raised since the May 7, 2022, public kickoff.

The project's goal is to replace the aging painted wooden letters and seasonal, temporary lighting with permanent metal letters and LED lighting. The project is being designed to be "Dark Skies certified," specifically with downward lighting, white lighting (avoiding the blue spectrum) with bulbs below 3,000 Kelvin.

The public is invited to contribute financially as an "Illuminator" (gifts up to $499), Peace Team ($500-$999), and a "Peace Ambassador" ($1,000 and greater). Corporate sponsorships and donations are also available by contacting Donations via check may be made payable to "Batavia Parks Foundation" and mailed to Batavia Parks Foundation, 327 W. Wilson St., Batavia, IL. 60510.

Batavia Parks Foundation president Britta McKenna encourages everyone's participation, "Whether you can sponsor a luminaria, purchase a 'Play it Forward' raffle ticket, make a donation, or be a major donor or sponsor, it will take all of us to install our permanent Peace On Earth art as a message of hope from Batavia to the world."

"Play it Forward" raffle drawing will be on Sept. 24. Just a few weeks remain for the public to purchase a raffle ticket to benefit the "Peace On Earth" permanent art. Ten prizes will be drawn at Batavia's new "Pints by the Pond," a craft beer fest at 5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 24. Winners need not be present, and the drawing will be streamed live at

Batavia "Play Partner" businesses teaming up with the Parks Foundation for the "Play it Forward" promotion include: an E-bike from Boj-E-Bikes; five-course wine dinner for 10 from Mirus; Sturdy Shelter Brewery/Party for 15 with pizza from Pal Joey's; headshot and family photo packages with Katie O'Brien; 2023 family Quarry Beach pass from Batavia Park District; family pass from Funway; a North River Street getaway (Sidecar Supper Club, two nights lodging at Airbnb and Comedy Club tickets); and a "Fishing for Peace" canvas photograph by Britta McKenna.

Individual raffle tickets are $20, three for $50, and six for $100. Each ticket purchased is a chance to win any of the following prizes from the foundation's play partners. One hundred percent of the proceeds from the raffle benefit the Peace On Earth project.

Tickets may be purchased online at, or in person from Craig Foltos at Foltos Tonsorial Parlor (7 E. Wilson St.) or Stan Oke at Batavia Mobil (27 N. Batavia Ave.) History of the Peace on Earth Project Craig Foltos had a dream to place 12-foot "Peace On Earth" letters on the bicycle-pedestrian bridge in downtown Batavia.

That dream came true through his efforts alongside volunteers, who donated resources and time to build the letters. In partnership with the Batavia Park District, the message of hope has been proudly hung annually on the "Peace Bridge" during the Christmas season.

Today, the dream is expanding with the help of the nonprofit Batavia Parks Foundation partnering with Foltos to raise funds for permanent letters with digital LED lighting, art that will shine Batavia's message of hope all year-round.

The mission of the Batavia Parks Foundation is to foster recreation and open space initiatives that enhance residents'quality of life. Follow the foundation on Instagram and Facebook. More information on the nonprofit is available at Email for information.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the "flag" link in the lower-right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.