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December 5, 2015 - 1:33pm
posted by Billie Owens in Christmas in the City, centennial.

Here are some pictures highlighting the activities at Friday night's Christmas in the City event as well as closing ceremonies for the city's Centennial Celebration. They were taken by Steve Ognibene.

November 25, 2015 - 1:47pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, sundial, centennial.

A worker is preparing the foundation for a sundial so it can be permanently placed in the plaza in front of Batavia City Hall.

The Batavia Centennial Committee and its Legacy Sponsors are going to present the sundial as a gift to the city.

The sculpture, designed by local architect Ed Smart, is made of steel and teak, with stainless steel lettering, and is said to be virtually maintenance free. It costs $15,000 to $20,000 and is being paid for by the contributions several local businesses made to the Centennial Celebration as "Legacy Sponsors."

There's no expense to the city. The City Council has already approve placement of the sculpture on city property.

November 19, 2015 - 3:29pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, centennial, Christmas in the City.

Christmas in the City will be held on Friday, Dec. 4, and will also mark the conclusion of the closing ceremonies for Batavia's Centennial celebration.

First, starting at 6 p.m., come and behold the Centennial Time Capsule in the foyer of City Hall. See the sponsor wall and the legacy gift. Enjoy a dessert bar with a variety of toppings and hot chocolate. The first 100 people will receive a free Centennial mug!

Bid on a piece of history. Offer a price for the Centennial Street Banner that has bedecked the City Hall sign and take it home as a keepsake if you win. Silent auction bidding opens for 100 pennies.

Then, at 6:15 p.m., the lineup begins in nearby Austin Park for the aerial "Human 100" group photograph -- hopefully with 500 volunteers dressed all in blue or white or gold! Be part of the photo and receive a free Centennial flashlight. Photo will be taken at 6:45 p.m.

At 7, watch the parade along Jefferson Avenue and be on the lookout for the Centennial cake! And golden "coins" made of chocolate tossed to onlookers by Centennial celebrants, too!

The evening's closing ceremonies for the Centennial concludes with a fireworks extravaganza at 8 o'clock, compliments of the Centennial sponsors.

Christmas in the City will also feature:

Photos with Santa at GO ART! (5-9 p.m.)

Stores & Restaurants Offering Specials & Entertainment (5-9 p.m.)

Holiday Window Decorating Contest (5-9 p.m.)

Horse & Wagon Rides on Center Street (across from Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle) (5-9 p.m.)

FREE Shuttle Rides from Save-a-Lot to Wonderland of Trees at Holland Land Office Museum (5-9 p.m.)

Batavia Concert Band in the Batavia City Centre (6-6:45 p.m.)


(Sponsors: GOLD: The Batavian, Tompkins Bank of Castile & Tompkins Insurance)

November 19, 2015 - 3:01pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, centennial, Christmas in the City, Human 100.

As part of the city's ongoing Centennial celebration, there is going to be an aerial photograph taken of the "Human 100." The city is calling for 500 volunteers to stand "in cheery formation dressed in festive blue, white or gold wintry wear!"

This crowd shot in the form of the number 100 will take place at Austin Park on Friday, Dec. 4th, within lineup forming at 6:15 p.m.

An additional volunteer opportunity in celebration of the Centennial will take place immediately following the Human 100 photo shoot.

All will get to walk alongside the Centennial Cake in the Holiday Parade that kicks off this year's Christmas in the City festivities. There's one condition: Participants must be wearing blue, white or gold to be in the parade!

The route is along Jefferson Avenue and walkers will get chocolate coins to toss to rapt and merry parade watchers.

Questions? Call Vibrant Batavia is 738-7388 or contact Leanna Di Risio at:  [email protected]

October 15, 2015 - 12:13pm

Press release:

Crossroads House in conjunction with St. James Episcopal Church is offering a FREE Community Concert at 7 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 23, titled “A Showcase of a Local Treasure."

“Our community is fortunate to have such a rare treasure in an acoustical setting second to none," said Crossroads House Executive Director Jeff Allen. "In keeping with St. James' 200th Anniversary and the City of Batavia’s Centennial, this concert is given as a gift back to a generous community that has supported us since 1996.”

This will NOT be your typical organ concert. In showcasing the amazing dynamics and broad range of this historic pipe organ, numbers will include sacred hymns as well as songs by The Doors, The Allman Brothers Band, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and more.

Pipe organs have largely been relegated to Sunday morning worship services for centuries and the gift of their sound is kept to a select audience. 

“I liken most pipe organs to a Ferrari that is only backed in and out of the garage once a week, at this concert, we will take the Ferrari out on the open road and reveal it’s amazing horsepower,” Allen said.

Playing the organ will be St. James organist David Lange who will offer powerful renditions of the sacred hymns and Jeffrey Fischer who will put the pedal to the metal and play the modern rock classics.

Again, the concert is free and no offering will be taken, just come and enjoy. You will love it madly.

Date: Friday Oct. 23rd at 7 p.m.

Place: St James Episcopal Church, 405 E. Main St., Batavia.

May 14, 2015 - 3:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia peace garden, centennial.

Press release:

The Batavia Peace Garden Annual Flag Raising will take place on Saturday, May 16th, at 11 a.m. in the Batavia Peace Garden, located next to the Holland Land Office Museum at 131 W. Main St. in the City of Batavia. The flags will be raised by veterans and volunteers. NYS Assemblymen Steve Hawley will provide a brief history of the flags.

Saint Joe’s Brass Ensemble will be on hand to provide patriotic music. The Genesee County War of 1812 Militia will perform a ceremonial salute following the flag raising. This will be followed by taps.

In addition, the Batavia Bicentennial Time Capsule Dedication is scheduled to take place at 1 p.m. on the grounds of the Holland Land Office Museum. This will be followed by a reception in the Museum with complimentary refreshments.

Planned activities include costumed reenactors and hot dogs for sale. 

This is a family-friendly event. The public is invited to attend. Bring your lawn chairs and make a day of it!

December 30, 2014 - 5:58pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, New Year's Eve, centennial.

City of Batavia New Year’s Eve Centennial Celebration schedule of events for children/family activities Dec. 31, 2014:

Falleti Ice Arena

6 to 6:30 p.m.    --    Free Open Skate

6:30 to 6:45 p.m.    --   Warm Up (Buffalo Skating Club/Falleti Ice Arena Learn to Skate Program)

7 to 7:45 p.m.    --    Buffalo Skating Club Demonstrations

7:45 to 9 p.m.    --    Photos with Queen Elsa (Warming Room)

                                 Free Open Skate

St. Mary’s Church, basement

7 to 9 p.m.    --    Children's Carnival, with games and prizes

                            Balloon Animals

                            Face Painting / Caricatures (FREE)

"Centennial Plaza" at the corner of Ellicott and Evans streets

6 to 9 p.m.    --    Outdoor Winter Carnival


Other activities will include: Snowshoe Races; Bean Bag Toss Competitions; Hula Hoop Contests; Balloon Blizzard Races; Life-size Jenga; Snowman Snowball Toss; Trivia by the Holland Land Office; and tours of the Batavia Fire Department.

In addition, there will be FREE pony rides, FREE limo rides, and a photo booth. Michelle’s Bakery and Batavia’s Original will have food and hot drinks available for purchase. A large bonfire and live music/performances will go on throughout the evening.

Century Club Celebration (inside City Centre) -- tickets are still available for purchase at $50 per person at City Hall in the City Manager’s Office until noon Wednesday, Dec. 31 (while supplies last). Tickets will not be sold at the door. Price includes live music, DJ, dancing, champagne toast and heavy hors d'oeuvres. Pick a decade during the past 100 years and dress accordingly!

For more information, contact Leanna Di Risio at 585-738-7388.

April 16, 2014 - 3:16pm
posted by Larry Barnes in batavia, history, centennial.

Centennial Blog -- eighth in a series

Batavia officially became a city on Jan. 1, 1915 after having been an incorporated village since 1823. The transition involved a progression through several steps during 1914. During 2014, I will be acknowledging each of these events 100 years after their occurrence.

On April 15, 100 years ago, the governor of New York, Martin H. Glynn, had before him a bill proposed by the Village of Batavia Aldermen and passed by the State legislature. It was a bill that would make Batavia the 54th city in the state. However, there was a question as to whether the governor would sign the bill. His predecessor, William Sulzer had vetoed a highly similar bill a year earlier because of opposition from Batavia’s Charter Revision Commission.

On the surface, the situation hadn’t changed much. Members of the Commission still favored a city government run by a city manager and five nonpartisan councilmen elected at large. The Aldermen’s bill, approved by the State legislature and now on the governor’s desk, provided for a mayor, six councilmen each elected from a city ward, and all seven affiliated with a political party.

However, there were two differences this year. One was that the Aldermen’s bill had been amended to require a referendum vote by the residents of Batavia. If a majority voted against the Aldermen’s bill, its provisions would not go into effect. A second difference was the existence of another bill moving through the legislature, the so-called Murtaugh Bill. Under this bill, residents of a city could petition for a change in the form of their city government; and if a majority of voters favored that change, it would go into effect.

Among the options under the Murtaugh Bill was one that matched the form of government favored by Batavia’s Charter Revision Commission. So, even if the Aldermen’s bill was approved in the referendum, Batavians could later vote to change the form of Batavia’s government to the one proposed by the Commission.

Under this new set of circumstances, the members of the Charter Revision Commission chose not to seek the governor’s veto of the Aldermen’s bill. And so, on April 15th, Governor Glynn signed it into law as Chapter 354 of the Laws of 1914. The next step would be the required referendum vote to be held on June 8th.

How did Batavians vote in the referendum? In seven weeks, I will let you know.

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