Windmill City Festival has long been a staple of the community and has become a tradition for many families, formerly called Batavia Boo Boo Days until 1978.
The festival had its humble beginnings as a sidewalk sale in 1956. The idea of Boo Boo Days was introduced by Arthur Swanson of the Batavia Chamber of Commerce. The idea was that downtown merchants would set out clearance items, overstock, or end of season goods at deeply discounted prices. It was an instant success!
As the interest (and number of shoppers!) grew, Boo Boo Days started adding refreshments and activities for kids so the adults could shop all day. To make employees and festival officials more recognizable, they were issues hats or dressed in costume to match the festival’s theme.
Gradually, the focus of the festival moved away from the bargains. In the 1970s, events such as concerts, the crowning of Miss Batavia, community plays, marathons and even competitions such as the annual Tug of War event were all held during Boo Boo Days. In 1978, the name was officially changed to “Windmill City Fest” to reflect Batavia’s history and to better encompass the city wide – multi day celebration it had become.
Batavians still look forward to the carnival-like event every year, so mark your calendar and be sure to drop by the downtown area to enjoy Batavia's biggest event of the summer!