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Family Festival a way to give back to community, organizers say

By Joanne Beck

Now that school has begun, some local organizations are throwing a celebratory event to kick off the season right, with an evening of art, food, fun activities, and music, organizers say.

Batavia First Presbyterian Church will be hosting the event in collaboration with St. James Episcopal Church, GO Art! and Genesee County Youth Bureau.

“We have put a lot of thought into how to create a fun and engaging atmosphere for families and children," Genesee County Youth Bureau Director Daniel Calkins said. “Although the church has done these types of events before, this is the first time this particular event will be taking place. Pastor Roula and her congregation have been very open about wanting to give back to the community, and this event is an extension of that."

The event is set for 5:30 to 7 p.m. Saturday at First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., Batavia.

“This is a free event for anybody that would like to come and enjoy the activities provided in an intentional showing of communal love,” Calkins said. “The Youth Bureau is excited to continue to grow through these events and partnerships. We are continually invested into showing Genesee County residents that we care about them and their families and want them to have fun and be provided for.”

The evening will include hamburgers, hotdogs, and chips, and ice cream from the Ice Cream and Chill truck. The Youth Bureau will have a tent outside with a cotton candy machine and all its sticky sweetness, plus there will be a bounce house for children to enjoy, a T-shirt tie-dye station offered by GO ART!, and BDC rock painting.

After the kids get creative painting rocks, they will be placed around town, and then whoever finds 20 of them and takes pictures to post on social media (tagged on the back of the rocks), will get a gift card as a prize. 

Other activities will include an art spinning paint station, yard games, including corn hole, ring toss, basketball, and colorful chalks for kids to use in the church parking lot. Children will have the opportunity to create their own art, which will be framed and displayed at the church for the next month. 

There will also be live music throughout the evening during this family-friendly event, the Rev. Roula Alkhouri said.

“We are really excited to help families celebrate the beginning of the school year and hope that families will enjoy a fun community evening,” Alkhouri said.

The event is free and open to the public.

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