BATAVIA — Always the second weekend in July, Batavia Days combines the events and activities the community loves with some new, family-friendly ideas.
“There are a lot of things that we’ve done in the past, and they work,” organizer Tycene Weber said. “There’s the tractor pull, which is really popular, and we’ve had the softball tournament for years. That brings a lot of teams to town.”
And bringing in visitors is an added bonus to Batavia Days, as small towns that have been affected by the highway by-pass have learned.
“In these little towns, there’s not a lot left. Come and see that we’re still thriving,” Weber said.
There’s something for everyone on the schedule of events, from the tractor pulls and softball tournaments to a used book sale and 30-40 vendors lining the downtown streets. Small businesses and home businesses will be outside the community center for browsing between events.
This will be the third year for the decorated potato and ugly cake contests, which will be held at noon in the community center, along with the baby contest.
For the kids, there will be a pedal pull, games and crafts to make and take home.
As for food, the brats and pork sandwiches available are the main fundraiser for the fire department, and Weber says they’re a hit every year. The Batavia Masonic Lodge will be serving breakfast Saturday morning, and for the community meal this year, they’ve chosen a taco bar.
Saturday evening, there will be performances by local residents in the pavilion.
The Ottumwa Hillbilly Shrine Unity and the Fairfield Kiwanis will receive the proceeds from the concession stands on Friday evening.
“We just want to help everybody,” Weber explained. “This helps the whole surrounding area. We know how hard it is to get volunteers. This helps them and it helps us.”