Celebration of Lights kicks off Batavia's holiday season Nov. 27

The annual Celebration of Lights Festival will light up the Batavia Riverwalk the evening of Nov. 27 as the community gathers to kick off the holiday season and welcome Santa.

Presented by the Batavia Park District, this free event celebrates the magic of the season with festive and fun holiday activities, song and ceremony, culminating in Santa's arrival and a welcome by Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, followed by the ceremonial tree lighting.

Santa, joined by Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke, will kick off the holiday season with the tree-lighting ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 27, on the Batavia Riverwalk. Courtesy of Batavia Park District

"The Riverwalk magically comes to life this time of year with the holiday lit trees, the little ones' sheer excitement for spending quality time with Santa and the good old fashioned community singalong," said Allison Niemela, Batavia Park District executive director. "It warms my heart to see so many people coming together to celebrate the magic of the season."

From 5 to 7 p.m., make merry with hayrides, a family photo opportunity, a performance by the Batavia Community Band, a seasonal exhibit at the Batavia Depot Museum, a stroll on Christmas Tree Lane, and a holiday craft activity at city hall.

Crafters of all ages will delight in creating a Popsicle stick reindeer to take home.

During Batavia's Celebration of Lights Festival, join in making holiday crafts at city hall on Sunday, Nov. 27. Courtesy of Batavia Park District

Explore the colorful lights and festive decorations along Christmas Tree Lane, a stretch of Riverwalk path featuring trees decorated by 25 community organizations.

All decorated trees will be entered into a contest and eligible to win a prize in one of three categories: Most Original Theme, Best Holiday Spirit and People's Choice.

Residents can vote for the People's Choice winner via the Batavia Park District's Facebook page starting Nov. 21 at noon through Nov. 27 at noon.

To prepare for Santa's arrival, Craig Foltos of Foltos Tonsorial Parlor will lead a community singalong at 5:15 p.m., encouraging all to enjoy singing a few beloved holiday tunes.

Santa arrives at 5:30 p.m., just in time for the ceremonial tree lighting.

At 5:45 p.m., the Peg Bond Center becomes Santa's Warming House, open for visits and photos with jolly ol' St. Nick.

Across the pond, the Batavia Depot Museum will host "Magic of Batavia," an exhibit featuring local holiday traditions, and a story time presented by the Batavia Public Library from 5:50 to 6:30 p.m.

Special guest readers will share their favorite holiday tales.

Ring in the holiday season with family-friendly activities and a visit with Santa. For more information, visit

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