Downtown merchants, through the Business Improvement District, hosted their annual Christmas in the City Parade on Saturday evening.
Photos by Philip Casper.
Downtown merchants, through the Business Improvement District, hosted their annual Christmas in the City Parade on Saturday evening.
Photos by Philip Casper.
Carter Ianiro, 2, shares some special time with Santa Claus Saturday at Santa's Village in Batavia City Centre.
Downtown Batavia was bustling with visitors and shoppers during the annual Christmas in the City Saturday at Batavia City Centre and along downtown streets. Hosted by the Business Improvement District, this year's indoor activities featured Santa's Village, with a workshop, carolers, dancers, and the jolly ol' elf himself, Santa Claus.
As with any successful event, planning and hands-on help make it happen. And Christmas in the City is no exception.
“We spent a week here decorating and setting up the chairs for people,” BID Executive Director Shannon Maute said. “And there’s face painting, cookie decorating, ornament making, and we’re trying to get people to the horse and buggy from 3 to 6, and then it will swing by and pick up Santa and me for the parade.”
Morning long rain slowed down by the afternoon, which should make for a drier horse and buggy ride up to 6 p.m. That will take off from Center Street Smokehouse on Center Street, and tickets may be purchased at Adam Miller Toy & Bike shop.
Batavia City Centre was filled with kids playing games, people shopping the many vendor items, eating and drinking, and, of course, some whispering in Santa’s ear.
“I am very excited about the turnout. I thought it would be busy but didn’t know it was going to be this busy,” said Maute, aka Santa’s elf. “Most of the kids are saying they just want to have a happy Christmas, they’re not even asking for gifts. This is great, it’s not great weather out, so I’m glad we had a backup. Hopefully, the wind calms down for the parade. It has been a really nice turnout, with lots to do, we have a kid's zone where kids could play with the toys.
“And having it in this space really brings everyone together, and they’re having a really great time,” she said.
The parade kicks off at 6 p.m. and runs from Jefferson Avenue to Summit Street along Main Street.
BID Executive Director Shannon Maute, aka Santa's elf.
Christmas in the City draws plenty of visitors to Batavia City Centre Saturday for some shopping, games, face painting, woodwork crafts, musical entertainment, a live nativity and Santa Claus. The vendor fair goes to 8 p.m. Photos by Howard Owens.
December means a triple-play for Batavia Players, Pat Burk says.
Actually, there’s only one play, “A Christmas Carole,” that runs Thursday through Sunday, plus Our Hometown Christmas all day Saturday inside Batavia City Centre, and spaghetti with Santa event on Dec. 11.
If that schedule tires you out, it has been plenty for members of the theater group. In addition to many of them participating in the show, they will also be helping out for a vendor fair throughout the mall concourse from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and at Santa’s Village at the concourse stage.
Home Depot has donated wood kits so that kids can put their hands to work at Santa's Workshop making birdhouses and other creations, he said. Photos with Santa Claus will be from 1 to 5 p.m., with the outdoor parade to begin at 6 p.m. and take off from Jefferson Avenue to Summit Street.
Entertainment will be provided at 12:15 p.m. by Main St. 56 Dance Company, and dancing and musical performances are scheduled throughout the day, he said. Other activities include cookie decorating and a live nativity at EverPresent Church.
There were 49 vendors registered just before Burk talked to The Batavian Tuesday afternoon, he said, and there were a few more interested, so expect several dozen ready and waiting to sell their wares, from Christmas and general craft items to kitchen goods, woodwork and assorted foods. Many of the usual Mall Market participants will be there throughout the day as well, he said.
A concessions food truck will be available beginning at 9 a.m. outside the former Sunny’s restaurant site in the parking lot. That vendor’s specialties include deep-fried Oreos, flavored french fries and various barbecued items, Burk said.
If you’ve got some time to spare, volunteers are needed for miscellaneous tasks, such as helping visitors locate certain activities, vendors find their assigned spots, and other volunteers so that they can take periodic breaks.
Neck deep in the construction of a new Main St. 56 theater means that Batavia Players is raising money to help make the costly endeavor happen. The vendor fair and weekend shows are fundraisers and will be complemented by a basket raffle, specifically for the group’s Building Committee. Tickets are $5 for a sheet, and drawings are to begin at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, just before the parade.
Speaking of the show, Burk and fellow actor Paul Spiotta are thrilled to be celebrating their 15th season of singing a duet during the weekend performances, Burk said.
“We were both 50 years old when we first sang together,” Burk said. “We’re pretty excited to still be around to do it.”
Burk is sort of amazed at how much he’s learned about construction, having been part of contractor meetings for the theater, he said. He now knows the gritty details of HVAC systems and supporting walls, and, unfortunately, also about how slowly such projects can progress with stalled and rising costs of materials due to post-COVID supply chain issues.
“We’re doing everything we possibly can to put the finishing touches on it,” he said. “After January 1, we’ll actually be doing a big fundraising effort.”
There have been sacrifices, mostly behind the scenes, he said, by reducing bathrooms from four to two and shifting the configuration of dressing rooms. However, patrons are still getting nice new restrooms, and there won’t be cost-cutting with aesthetics if he can help it, Burk said.
The final fundraiser for this season will be a Spaghetti With Santa event, set for 2 to 5 p.m. Dec. 11 at First Presbyterian Church, 300 East Main St., Batavia. Photos with Santa will be from 3 to 5 p.m., and there will be a basket raffle. Meals are for dining in or take-out and are $12 a person. To purchase tickets ahead of time or obtain further details about these events, go to Batavia Players.
Christmas in the City, sponsored by the Business Improvement District, will also be happening throughout downtown from 2 to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Local shops, restaurants and organizations will be offering holiday specials, activities and food samples, including Letters to Santa at The Coffee Press on Jackson Street and horse and buggy rides beginninning at Center Street Smokehouse, with tickets availalbe for purchase at Adam Miller Toy and Bike shop, on Center Street. While at Adam Miller, check out the toy specials and warming chili.
Over on Main Street, Hunt Real Estate will be hosting an ornament-making craft while The YNGodess will provide adult tastings, and make sure to track down the Dickens carolers and Scrooge from 3 to 5 p.m.
The outdoor fun will be topped off with a holiday parade at 6 p.m. down Main Street. There are 35 participants registered for the parade, BID Executive Director Shannon Maute said, and judges include City Council members Eugene Jankowski Jr. and Bob Bialkowski, and BID community members Carol Hunt, Sandy Licata and Ken Mistler.
"We have added giant blow-up decorations for downtown, and added more things for kids. We are working hard on creating memories for all ages, especially the kids," Maute said. "I am overwhelmed with the participation and the generosity of everyone. I have a great board, an amazing committee, and a fantastic community.
"The BID Christmas in the City Committee will be transforming downtown Batavia into your favorite Christmas movie!" she said.
Volunteers are welcome to join the parade line-up or Santa's Village to help out, she said.
File photo of Christmas in the City parade, by Howard Owens.
Halloween is quickly approaching, then it’s Thanksgiving, and before you know it, the annual Christmas in the City takes hold the first weekend in December.
As members of Batavia Business Improvement District and Batavia Players — led by Co-Chairpersons Pat Burk and Shannon Maute — strive to get things in place for the event, there are plenty of opportunities for others to participate, they say.
Christmas in the City
The main event runs from 1 to 6 p.m. on Dec. 3 Downtown, with a visit from Santa Claus from 1 to 5 p.m. inside the mall and a finale parade at 6 p.m. throughout downtown. Local groups, businesses, emergency services departments, kids, adults, and most anything in between are welcome to join the fun.
Maute has put out the call for not only organizations but also for departments with fire trucks, to sign up.
“You can walk, ride or enter a float,” a BID flyer states.
Mall events will run from 1 to 5 p.m. and include Santa’s Village, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa and cookies, crafts, cookie decorating, a kids’ zone, Santa’s workshop, shopping specials, Dickens Carolers, Scrooge, adult tastings and more, organizers said.
Our Hometown Christmas
Even earlier that day will be a craft and vendor fair that begins at 10 a.m. and runs to 8 p.m., Burk said.
“We already have 22 tables,” he said. “And there will be entertainment; our dance academy is performing, the small brass group from BHS signed up, and there’s Santa’s Village. We’re trying to get people in what used to be the mall, and our Christmas show will be happening Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 4.”
Burk, long-time executive director of Batavia Players, is learning how to juggle theater responsibilities with Board of Elections tasks and being president of the Genesee Valley School Boards Association, he said.
The theater in Batavia City Centre has been one of many projects delayed by the pandemic’s onslaught of labor, supply chain and social distancing issues.
With fingers crossed, Burk is hoping for a completed theater to open in May or June of 2023. There are grants involved, and though the Players are a pre-qualified status through Grants Gateway, there is more footwork to be done, and it is all falling at the same time as taxes being due Nov. 15, he said.
Despite the “bad timing,” he and group staff and members look forward to that day when a performance happens in the fully renovated theater.
“We had some pretty hefty demolition left to do with plumbing, electrical, all those old air conditioning units that were there for the X-ray machines and stuff. Yeah, huge. They're all gone. I mean, we're moving daily. And we're working hard,” he said. “So I don't know what time we're going to be completed. And a lot of it's depending on availability of our stuff, and when we get our reimbursements from the state.”
Grant funding is crucial, due to how — sounds like a broken record by now, he said — COVID affected pricing for everything.
“Our supplies went up by over $260,000. We’re in for $1.2 million already and have raised money. And all that money doesn't mean anything, because we have to come up with more money for it, just to complete everything," he said. "On top of that, we really want to do a good job of accessibility and maximizing use and having good lights and sound and all that other stuff. And all that stuff went up in money … it all went through the ceiling."
They should get word on the grant application in March or April next year, he said, and he has learned how meticulous all of that paperwork needs to be, especially given at least three grant-related changes taking place this year. If one number is off, it gets sent back, and then they wait another month or more for approval of a resubmission of the corrected material.
“You have to have people look over this stuff, over and over and over,” he said.
A Christmas Carole
Nonetheless, the show, as they say, must go on, and the Players will be presenting the seasonal Dickens’ favorite “A Christmas Carole” the weekend of Christmas in the City. It is set for 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1, 2, 3 and 2 p.m. Dec. 4 at Main St. 56 Theater in Batavia City Centre. Tickets are $16 for adults and $14 students and seniors, and available at showtix4u.com.
The Players will also be sponsoring Our Hometown Christmas all day on Dec. 3 with an array of gift options at craft and vendor tables. There is still space available, and any interested crafts dealers, food trucks, vendors or antique dealers may want to grab a table NOW.
Santa’s Village will be part of a festive display, and local schools are to be participating, Burk said. There are so many activities jam-packed into the schedule, that Burk would like to see a future two-day event, he said.
The Hometown event is a fundraiser for the Players, and will provide entertainment and fun for visitors, he said.
“We’re trying to keep the theater going with no theater and with no money,” Burk said. “We are literally scraping together money to pay to keep the lights on.”
The BID is also hosting its annual Wreath Contest for downtown Batavia “as a creative way to add some holiday spirit to downtown.” The contest is open to any business, group, organization, or family. For $20, each participant is provided with a 16-inch plain wreath to decorate. Participants may pick up their wreaths on Nov. 19 and have a week to decorate before dropping them back off to the BID for committee volunteers to place throughout downtown, Maute said in a recent press release.
Voting for the most creative will take place from Dec. 3 through 24. The first-place winner is to receive a $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50.
To participate in the wreath contest or parade, contact Maute
File photos of Christmas in the City 2021 by Howard Owens
The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District is hosting its annual Christmas in the City Event with Holiday Parade on Saturday, Dec. 3 from 2 to 6 p.m., with a parade down Main Street at 6 p.m.
The BID is seeking any business, organization, or group to walk, ride or enter a float for the parade which runs from Jefferson Ave to Summit Street.
Downtown Businesses are encouraged to host an activity or offer store specials during the event. Vendors are welcome.
This year’s event includes Santa’s Village, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa & cookies, crafts, cookie decorating, kid’s zone, Santa’s workshop, shopping specials, Dickens Carolers, Scrooge, adult tastings and more.
BID Mall Events will be from 1 to 5 p.m.
“Our Hometown Christmas” craft fair sponsored by Main St. 56 Theater will be held in the mall 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
We have something for everyone, this is an event you won’t want to miss.
The Batavia Business Improvement District is also hosting its annual Wreath Contest for Downtown Batavia.
As a creative way to add some holiday spirit to downtown, the BID invites any business, group, organization, or family to enter the contest.
For $20 each participant is provided with a 16” Plain Wreath to decorate.
Participants will pick up their wreaths on Saturday, Nov. 19 and have a week to decorate before dropping them back off to the BID for committee volunteers to place throughout Downtown.
Voting for the most creative will take place from Dec. 3 thru Dec. 24. The first-place winner receives a $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50.
To participate in Christmas in the City or the Wreath Contest contact Shannon Maute at [email protected]
Photo: File photo by Howard Owens.
(2016 file photo)
This year’s Christmas in the City parade is a special one to Beth Kemp, executive director of Batavia Business Improvement District.
It will resume the years-old holiday event after the pandemic shut down, and close out a chapter on Kemp’s career path. She is leaving the role for a position in marketing and accounting with Council Rock Wealth Advisory Group in Batavia.
“December 10 will be my last day. This is my last big parade; the parade is kind of my baby, I love it,” she said to The Batavian Friday morning. “It’s like a well-oiled machine at this point, and I hope it will continue.”
Thirty-four participants have signed up for the parade, set to begin at 6 p.m. Saturday outside of Wendy’s restaurant on Main Street, Batavia. Floats, costumed characters, and music will follow a route that leads toward Summit Street.
Christmas in the City was originally dubbed Taste of the Holidays, which is when Kemp first became involved with it. She was on an event committee and was integral to the creation of a festive parade as part of the renamed event. Meant to be a family-friendly, fun downtown happening, Christmas in the City runs from 2 to 6 p.m., ending with the parade.
A train ride, several vendors, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, professional carolers and an elf, the Muckdogs mascot, and a GO-ART! building-turned-Whoville will be part of the excitement. There will also be hidden gnomes at downtown businesses for kids to find and take photos of for a contest boasting prizes of Muckdogs tickets, a basket full of board games, and more.
The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District is hosting its annual Christmas in the City event from 2 to 6 p.m. on Sat., Dec. 4 with a holiday parade down Main Street to follow at 6 p.m.
The BID is inviting any business, organization or group to walk, ride or enter a float for the parade which runs from Jefferson Avenue to Summit Street. Downtown businesses are encouraged to host an activity or offer store specials during the event. Vendors are welcome.
This year’s event includes train rides, pictures with Santa, hot cocoa, crafts, and a Downtown Scavenger hunt with chances to win some great prizes.
The BID also is hosting its second annual Wreath Contest for Downtown Batavia. Again, any business, group, organization or family are invited to enter the contest.
For $20, each participant is provided with a 16-inch plain wreath to decorate. Participants can pick up their wreaths on Sat., Nov, 20 and will have a week to decorate it before dropping the wreath off to the BID for community volunteers to put them up downtown.
Voting for most creative will take place from Dec. 4-24. First place winner receives $100 cash prize, second place $75 and third place $50.
To participate in Christmas in the City or the Wreath Contest, contact Beth Kemp at [email protected] or find all forms online at DowntownBataviaNY.com.
The Batavia Business Improvement District Board of Directors regretfully announces cancellation of Christmas in the City and the Holiday Parade.
Due to the uncertainty of COVID-19, the need for social distancing, and our concern for the health of the community, vendors, volunteers and attendees, we have decided to cancel this event for 2020.
We encourage our community to continue to shop small and support our small businesses that need us now more than ever.
For more information on B.I.D. and Downtown events please visit our website at www.downtownbataviany.com.
Submitted photo and press release:
The drawing of the winning ticket for this handmade dream doll house (34” wide, 33” high, 25” deep) will take place during Christmas in the City, this Saturday, Dec. 7th at 5:30 p.m. at the Senior Center, 2 Bank St.(next to GO-ART!). You need not be present to win.
The Genesee Senior Foundation is offering chances on this doll house at five tickets for $20 or 1 ticket for $5.
They are available for purchase at the Senior Center today, Thursday and Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m.
The Center will also be open for Christmas in the City on Saturday from 4 until 6 p.m. Tickets are available until the time of the drawing at 5:30 p.m.
In addition to the Doll House Raffle, Mrs. Claus and an elf will be present offering up hot chocolate and a fun craft. Folks may also want to purchase a delicious cookie from Mrs. Claus’ Cookie Shop.
Proceeds from the day will support programs such as Meals-on-Wheels through the Genesee Senior Foundation. Questions about the work of the Genesee Senior Foundation or this event may contact Courtney Iburi, director of the RSVP Volunteer Placement Program, or Dorian Ely, services administrator, at the Office for the Aging at 585-343-1611.
This year’s event is brought to you by L&L Transmission and The Downtown Batavia Business Improvement District.
Along with the many in store specials and activities inside our downtown businesses, there will also be: a live ice sculpture, life-size snow globe, horse and buggy rides ($1 tickets available at Adam Miller Toy and Bicycle), train rides, carolers, vendors and more!
If your group or organization is still interested in participating in the parade, please contact Beth Kemp at [email protected] or at 585-993-7747.
Thank you to the following sponsors for making this event so successful: L&L Transmission, Toyota of Batavia, Batavia Downs Gaming & Casino, Western NY Concrete, Dolce Panepinto, Bourbon & Burger Co., T.F. Brown's, Tompkins Bank of Castile, Turnbull Heating & Cooling, Smart Design, Rochester Regional Health UMMC, Lamb Farms, Main St. Pizza, T-Shirts Etc., Eli Fish Brewing Co., WBTA and the Batavia Daily News.
The Batavia Improvement District hosted Christmas in the City last night, which included sleigh rides, a toy train ride, visits with Santa (and the Grinch) along with local Christmas shopping.
For pictures of the parade by Jim Burns, click here.
Gregory Hallock as Grinch and Nora Browne as Cindy Lou at GO ART! Hallock made his costume while Paige Sikorski, who is 13, put on his makeup.
Paul Grazioplene posed with Grinch, trying to convince his child that Grinch wasn't scary but the child didn't buy it.
There's a tiny little bundle in Santa's lap. It's 1-month-old Greyson Malcomb getting his first picture with Santa.
Batavia Police Sgt. Dan Coffey with Bo Coffey and Alyssa Coffey. Bo and Dan were in line waiting for a ride in the horse-drawn sleigh.
Downtown Batavia will be filled with holiday cheer and family fun tonight as local merchants host Christmas in the City.
Main Street, from Ellicott Street to Liberty Street, will be closed to vehicle traffic starting at 7 p.m. in preparation for the Christmas in the City parade at 8:15 p.m.
The festivities start at 5 p.m. and include horse and buggy rides, music, crafts, food, and other family-oriented activities.
Stop by the WBTA studios at Main and Center for a Christmas Party co-hosted by WBTA and The Batavian. Bring your smartphone or tablet, show the staff of The Batavian our mobile app installed on your device and you can enter a drawing for a $100 prize (no purchase necessary). We’re serving chili and grilled cheese catered by Dibble Family Center.
Download our app.
The Batavian and WBTA, local news partners for Genesee County, are hosting a Christmas party Friday evening during Christmas in the City at WBTA's studios at Main and Center.
Stop by between 5 and 9 p.m. and you could get a chance to win $100. Show us The Batavian's mobile app on your smartphone or tablet and you will be eligible to enter the drawing (no purchase necessary).
We will provide snacks catered by the Dibble Family Center.
Hundreds of people lined Main Street in Downtown Batavia on Friday night for the Christmas parade that was the highlight of a successful Christmas in the City for 2016.
Many businesses opened their doors for activities and food to celebrate the annual event.
To view photos and purchase prints click here: steveognibenephotography.com
One of the many floats in the annual parade.
Bradley Winslow, local musician.
10-year-old Ryan Cox getting his face painted sponsored by T-Shirts Etc.
Batavia Concert Band
Students and staff from Batavia City School District singing carols at the Holland Land Office Museum.