On Dec. 7 and 8, the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District (BID), hosted the 2nd Annual Taste of the Holidays.
Friday evening’s event included the official lighting of the Christmas tree, caroling, music by Rich Conroy, tastings from local restaurants, horse and wagon rides, and a scavenger hunt to lead people to the downtown businesses. Eleven local restaurants handed out samples under a tent located on historic Jackson Street.
More than 500 people attended the Friday event with great success. Saturday’s afternoon event also included the scavenger hunt, but was geared toward families and children, with music by Bart & Kevin. Area businesses and local organizations had holiday activities for children under the tent including crafts, face painting, free hot cocoa by Coffee Culture, and much more. The always popular McMahon School of Irish Dance kicked up their heels for the event as well as Jason the Juggler. The YWCA sponsored a gingerbread house contest. Approximately 300 families turned out for the Saturday event.
The major sponsors for the Taste of the Holidays were Müller Quaker and Alpina Foods, Batavia’s new yogurt companies. Alpina Foods even handed out free yogurt samples during the weekend event.
The Batavia Business Improvement District also took the opportunity to find out the wish lists of area residents. Their table’s activity not only included a station to write to Santa Claus, but also a station to send a letter to the BID saying, “I wish Batavia…” The letters included straightforward answers such as “a bakery, lower taxes, or less congested traffic on Main Street.” But the children’s comments were more imaginative including, “fireworks, no more snowstorms, a play place, and a popcorn place.”
The winner of this year’s Downtown Batavia Scavenger Hunt is Peyton Woeller, age 6, of Batavia. Peyton attended the Saturday children’s day activities for Taste of the Holidays and completed the scavenger hunt with his mother and twin sister. Peyton won a $100 gift BID certificate after visiting participating businesses and determining what day of Christmas each business represented.
Peyton’s reaction to winning “definitely rang with Christmas spirit,” said BID Director Don Burkel. “Peyton shared his gift certificate with his twin sister without hesitation. He knew immediately he wanted to go to Adam Miller Toy & Bike.”
The owner of Floral Fantasies, Sherry Balvo, also agreed the event was great for the community. She went above and beyond as a scavenger hunt participant by giving out gift bags with ornaments.
The Batavia Business Improvement District (BID) will be planning their yearly events after the New Year’s. Anyone who would like to volunteer for events or be part of the planning process are encouraged to contact the BID office at 344-0900 or e-mail [email protected]
Be sure to like the Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District on Facebook so you can keep in touch with future events.