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Miller: Festival provides perfect backdrop for Class of ’83 reunion

Every summer, area residents look forward to the return of Batavia’s largest event, Windmill City Festival. Out-of-town guests plan their vacations around the festival, and many locals who have moved away return during the two-and-a-half-day event.

The festival has become a reunion of sorts where long- ago friends can reconnect. This year, the Batavia High School Class of 1983 will use Windmill City Festival as a backdrop for its 30th reunion.

Sarah Adams, a longtime Batavian, is organizing the reunion for the first time. Other classes gravitate toward restaurants in Geneva for their reunions, she said, but she was determined to find a location in Batavia. According to Adams, it was easy to choose the festival as a meeting ground.

“My friends and I have never missed the festival,” Adams said. “We go every year and see so many people from our class. We always say that it’s like a class reunion, and now it’s going to be.”

The group plans on hitting up Windmill City Festival on Friday evening to take advantage of the food booths, beer garden and main stage entertainment.

More than 90 people will be in attendance at the reunion.

Growing up, Adams remembers attending the festival when it was known as “Boo Boo Days.” Her mom would give her a dollar, and she would find all sorts of trinkets at different shops that had set out displays on the sidewalk. By 1978 when the event became the Windmill City Festival, Adams found herself looking forward to the carnival every year.

The festival became a family tradition after Adams got married and had her two children. She was able to take her children to the carnival, watch the pet parade and participate in the fire hose challenge. Now that her kids are getting older, she enjoys attending the festival and reminiscing with old friends.

“The festival is always fun,” Adams said. “I love the bands, the food and meeting up with friends I haven’t seen for a while.”

This year, Adams will be meeting up with classmates from around the U.S., including California, Texas and Florida. Her classmate who moved to Japan is unfortunately unable to attend, but this year’s attendance proves she chose the right location.

“People who have never attended a class reunion are coming this year,” she said. “As soon as I sent out the invite I had responses coming in. People are excited to return to Batavia and to attend the festival.”

This year’s Windmill City Festival will be held Friday through Sunday at the Batavia Riverwalk. For information or for a complete schedule of events, visit

• Kari Miller is director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District. Contact her at

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