It has been more than a few days since I've had the privilege and opportunity to get online and share the news and happenings here in Batavia with you folks. That's in part due to the holiday of the Fourth, which I spent with family, grilling dogs, tossing a frisbee and being as American as I could be — not always easy for a self-professed francophile.
My absence from this virtual space is also in part due to all the time I spent enjoying myself at Batavia's summer festivals this past weekend. Quite simply, I was having too much fun behind the camera and out of doors to get inside to my office to tend to the behind-the-scenes work. But the fruits of those labors will now pay off. So be sure to check back with the site throughout the day. We'll have a couple videos going up about the Ramble Music and Arts Fest and the Batavia Boogie skydiving festival.
For now, here are some highlights of Saturday's action courtesy of the lens of Sonia Mineo who was kind enough to snap some still shots of the weekend festivities while I busied myself behind the video camera.
Sometimes, all you need is a zoom lens to get up into the clouds. That was all it took for Sonia to snap this shot of a parachutist coming in for a landing at the Genesee County Airport Saturday afternoon. It almost looks as if he's sitting on a cloud, just hanging out up there.
It was quite a sight to behold, as the planes full of 20 or so skydivers soared up through the clouds, higher and higher until the fuselage seemed no bigger than my pinky nail. You couldn't see any of the divers for a minute or so, not with the naked eye.
Then, all of the sudden, you saw them — a dozen or more colored blips in the azure of the sky.
Some of them pulled fancy moves on their way down, spinning or spiralling with their chutes. Most, when they landed, came down with a trot onto their bums or on their sides or into a quick tumble through the grasses. A few of them, however, came down walking, almost nonchalantly, as if there were no difference between pedalling through the air and stepping on the ground, so graceful and fluid were they.
While it was hard to ignore the tragic start of the Boogie on Thursday, when Brighton native Joseph Schickler fell to his death when his parachute failed to deploy, most of the divers continued to take to the air. We even overheard a few say that that was what Schickler, who was known for his sense of humor and good cheer, would have wanted.
Chalk art was a big hit at the Ramble Saturday. Artists young and old — including mural artist Vinny DelPlato — filled up more than half of School Street with their multicolor scribblings.
But as you might have expected, the music was of course the main draw. At a few times during the day, Saturday, it was a pretty tight squeeze in Jackson Square.
Be sure to visit the site later this afternoon for video coverage of both events.