It’s time to sparkle and shine! – Shaw Local

It’s still autumn for a month, yet light snowflakes already have scattered. You know what that means? Ready or not, it’s time to sparkle and shine! Winter fun and sleigh bells are on the way.

We may need to warm up with gloves and hats from here on, but it’s inspiring to see downtown Batavia all dressed up for the holidays with wreaths, garland and brilliant, twinkling lights.

The good cheer around town is heartwarming. Whether bundled up and riding or walking along the paths or visiting your favorite merchants, you’ll notice the pace is picking up. It’s a busy, jolly time of year with people smiling and prepping for wonderful holiday traditions.

Now through Dec. 18, the Batavia Depot Museum will feature a special holiday exhibit “Magic of Batavia” that shares some of the heartfelt traditions Batavians celebrate. Visit to learn more and add your family’s unique holiday tradition to the museum’s tradition tree. Pick up some Batavia merchandise as holiday gifts. Browse many new items available from clothing to games, puzzles and more.

Batavia soon will be aglow with a fun tradition that’s been around since the early 1990s. The same weekend you indulge in all the treats and gratitude of Thanksgiving, the Batavia Park District will host the community’s free Celebration of Lights Festival from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 27, at the Riverwalk.

If you’ve been waiting for your little ones to meet Santa and take some photos with him, you’re in luck! Santa will arrive at the beginning of the festival and will be available for family photos inside the Peg Bond Center throughout the event.

Enjoy music by the Batavia Community Band and a ceremonial tree lighting by Mayor Jeff Schielke. Join the annual community singalong led by Craig Foltos of Foltos Tonsorial Parlor and continue the evening with family wagon rides, craft making and a story time hosted by the Batavia Public Library in the Gustafson Research Center on the first level of the Batavia Depot Museum. See the full Celebration of Lights Festival event schedule here.

Start a new family tradition by taking a stroll down Christmas Tree Lane with your loved ones. Each year, the Batavia Park District sets 25 trees around the Batavia Riverwalk. All trees are works of heart, adorned with creative themes and handmade artistry by area Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts, preschools and local businesses and nonprofit organizations.

Tree decorators compete for prizes in three categories: Best Holiday Spirit, Most Original Theme and People’s Choice. Vote for the People’s Choice tree on the Batavia Park District’s Facebook page from noon Nov. 21 to noon Nov. 27. The tree with the most likes will win. Awards will be announced at the Celebration of Lights Festival.

At the end of the month, check your mailbox for our Winter Fun Guide, filled with programs, sports, trips and activities for all ages. Save the 2023 special events calendar at the front of the guide for memory making throughout the year and visit 24/7 for more details and to register.

Your fun is our business at the Batavia Park District and we take that to heart every day. We are grateful to serve you and your family and wish you a beautiful Thanksgiving.

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