BATAVIA — The Genesee-Orleans Regional Arts Council annual Picnic in the Park returns Wednesday. The family- and community-oriented Fourth of July celebration is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. in Centennial Park, off Richmond and Ellicott avenues. Admission is free. It’s one of several area events that commemorate America’s independence. GO ART! Executive Director Kelly Kiebala said Picnic in the Park has enjoyed strong community support. “It was apparent right from the start and continues today,” she said. “I think that the event captures the personality of the community, incorporating the natural beauty of Centennial Park and has now, itself, become a July 4th tradition for many — residents and visitors alike,” Kiebala said. The Batavia Concert Band will continue its tradition of opening the Picnic in the Park, performing the National Anthem and other selections such as Sousa-style marches and big band numbers on the Main Stage at noon. Musical entertainment continues all day on two stages. MAIN STAGE entertainment will also include the Genesee Chorale (1 p.m.) presenting a variety of vocal music, from motets and madrigals of the Renaissance to folk, musicals and jazz. At 1:45 p.m., The Henrie Brothers quartet features old-time music. At 3:15 p.m. Cut-Off sings contemporary a cappella pieces. Kelly’s Old Timers takes the stage at 4 p.m. to cap the afternoon with its traditional square dance music featuring one of the Genesee region’s best callers. STAGE II features Batavia Players at 12:30 and 3 p.m., performing excerpts from “On Broadway: Third Time’s the Charm.” At 1:30 p.m., Engarde to Encore presents “Loves Letters Lost?” a scene inspired by the traditions of the “Commedia dell’arte” and featuring theatrical swordplay. Also, at 2 and 3:45 p.m. the McMahon School of Irish Dance takes the stage, “keeping in step” with the Irish dance tradition. OTHER ACTIVITIES in Centennial Park include horse-drawn wagon rides and petting zoo by Hartland Carriages, and the Wildlife Educators Coalition returns with its wide assortment of animals throughout the day. Colin Dentino’s En Garde: Batavia Fencing offers hands on demonstrations,. Another Picnic staple, juggler Brian Kozody, will also be around. Geoffrey Clough presents an interactive program of children’s songs called “Cookie Songwriting” and the GLOW Area YMCA will have its bounce house and inflatable obstacle course on site with donation proceeds going to the YMCA’s Strong Communities Campaign. In the EXPLORE ART! TENT families are invited to to create and decorate greeting cards which will be sent to service men and women. AmeriCorps volunteer Joe Langen along with Sheila Furr and Carol Gomborone will be on hand to encourage the creativity. Independence Day temporary tattoos will also be available. Along the Richmond Avenue side of Centennial Park, artists and crafters are again featured in an ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW AND SALE. A variety of arts and crafts are represented, such as pastel, oil and watercolor paintings, hand beaded jewelry, ceramics, indoor/outdoor seasonal wood crafts, hand-crafted tee shirts, and much more. ADDITIONAL ATTRACTIONS consist of booths by community nonprofit organizations, including The Mental Health Association selling matted and framed photos and painted birdhouses, Genesee County Historians Association Civil War and War of 1812 display boards and local history books, Batavia Assembly of God dunk tank, Genesee County Youth Bureau with sand art and free balloons, GO ART!’s “Rendezvous with Reisling” raffle and many others. “Picnic” always offers up tantalizing food by a variety of vendors, such as Abbott’s cones, sundaes, milkshakes and root beer floats, and, of course, the Batavia Jaycees famous ‘dog and burger stand in its traditional location. For more information, contact GO ART! at (585) 343-9313, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.goart.org .
Jun 28, 2012