Snow won’t ruin Batavia’s New Year’s party

Schielke: ‘Very short’ event to include Batavia Community Band, fireworks

Published: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2013 7:28 a.m. CDT

BATAVIA – A snowy New Year’s Eve wouldn’t ruin Batavia’s mini-celebration set for tonight. In fact, Batavia Mayor Jeff Schielke said a little falling snow might even enhance the experience.

Schielke said he recalled a fireworks celebration to celebrate a trip to the state tournament for the Batavia High School basketball team, in the 1990-91 season.

“It was snowing, and it was a very pretty scene, with the fireworks going off in the snow,” Schielke said.

A fireworks show will be part of the festivities when Batavia celebrates its 180th birthday at 9 p.m. today on the Riverwalk in downtown Batavia, located at 100 N. Island Ave. Schielke said New Year’s Eve is the perfect day for a celebration, since there is a dispute about whether Batavia was settled in 1833 or 1834.

Schielke said attendees should expect “a very short” ceremony. There will be a couple of songs performed by the Batavia Community Band, as well as a small fireworks show.

“They shouldn’t be prepared to go down there and camp out,” Schielke said, adding that it will be ideal for people with small children. It could become a regular event.

“For the moment, it’s a one-time deal,” Schielke said. “We’re going to see how it goes.”

Unless there is a significant snowstorm, Schielke said the fireworks event should go on. The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory, which will be in effect from 4 p.m. today through 10 a.m. Wednesday. Snow is expected to develop late this afternoon or early this evening, and the advisory said 3 to 5 inches of snow is expected to fall through Wednesday morning.

Schielke said it’s not surprising that there could be snow on a winter day in Batavia, saying that “you always run into the risk of running into stuff like that.”

But Schielke said the show likely will go on.

“Even if it’s snowing, we’ll try to fire them, just because they are low-level fireworks,” said Schielke, adding that the show can’t be on a large scale because of the location near the city’s downtown area. 

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