Windmill City Festival a cherished salute to summer

If you enjoy time outdoors and soaking up every last bit of summer fun and sunshine, you’re in luck. Windmill City Festival will blow into town Aug. 27 to 29 at the Batavia Riverwalk.

Organized this year by the Batavia Park District, the city of Batavia and The Comedy Vault, the festival first began in 1956 as a bargain shopper’s event known as “Batavia Boo Boo Days,” and now has blossomed into a full weekend celebration. It’s a fantastic salute to summer for families and visitors of all ages, announces the Batavia Park District.

Family fun

Come for the food and fun, connect with your friends and catch some of your favorite tunes each night. Visit to see the festival’s full schedule of events.

Festgoers can enjoy a wide range of musical entertainment on two stages this year, along with a Craft & Vintage Market. There is a Splash Bash for children, face painting, Euro Bungy, rides and a dunk tank.


We’re delighted that two community favorites return – the Fire Hose Challenge and the Golf Challenge.

Beat the heat in the Fire Hose Challenge, where participants attempt to scoot a ball across their opponent’s line using fire hoses. The Fire Hose Challenge will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 28 and 3 p.m. Aug. 29.

If golf is more your game, expert golfers and duffers alike can compete to make an ace in the Golf Challenge – $5 buys six chances to take your best shots across Depot Pond to a floating green. The Golf Challenge will be open from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 27, noon to 10 p.m. Aug. 28 and noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 29. Register at the festival.

Show off your artistic side at the Sidewalk Chalk Competition from 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 28 at South Riverwalk Plaza. Children and adults are welcome to draw and compete to win prizes for Best in Show and People’s Choice. Register online at Thanks go to the Batavia Mothers’ Club Foundation, whose members will help judge the chalk creations.


Fur kids are welcome to compete, too. Bring your pets to the fest at noon Aug. 28 for the Pet Competition, sponsored by Batavia Animal Clinic, Two Bostons, DePaw University Canine Campus, WoofBeach and Foltos Tonsorial Parlor. Barber and competition master of ceremonies Craig Foltos will recognize each pet that prances across the Riverwalk stage. Prizes will be awarded for Best Kisser, Best Trick, Highest Jump, Best Costume and Most Unusual. Register your pet for the competition at Registered participants will receive a complimentary doggie bag courtesy of local businesses.

Remember, no pets are allowed on festival grounds after 6 p.m., so come early to enjoy those happy wags downtown.

Eclectic crafts and music

Hunt for unique and nostalgic treasures at the Craft & Vintage Market, located just north of the food area. The market will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Aug. 28 and 29. Local artisans will offer heirloom, repurposed and eco-conscious items.

After shopping the market, grab some delicious food and beverages, kick up your heels and jam with some of the Midwest’s best bands. Enjoy alternative and classic rock, oldies, blues, funk, reggae, hip-hop and more.

The Riverwalk stage at 151 N. Island Ave. is free for all ages. A short walk across the bridge, The Comedy Vault stage, located at the 18 E. Wilson St. parking lot, will host guests 21 and older and have a $5 daily entrance fee.

With 18 bands at the Windmill City Festival this year, there’s something for everyone.

Gather at the Riverwalk stage for a special performance Aug. 29, when former bandmates play a tribute concert to honor Batavia native and singer Michael Heaton, who died from cancer in 2019. The tribute will include the dedication of a permanent plaque highlighting Heaton’s life, music and philanthropy, and the announcement of the Michael Heaton Musical Scholarship.

Thanks go to volunteers and other generous community sponsors who help make all the fun possible at Windmill City Festival: Northwestern University’s All of Us research program, Wazio Orthodontics, Great American Exteriors, Liberty Mutual, Modern Mill Solar, Upland Design, Speer Financial, the office of state Rep. Maura Hirschauer, Be Smart, Strikers Fox Valley Soccer Club, YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the Kane County Cougars and the Kane County Chronicle.

For information about Batavia Park District programs and events, call 630-879-5235 or go to

• Debbie Gentry is the director of marketing and public relations for the Batavia Park District.