BATAVIA – The Batavia Woman’s Club is partnering with Batavia Main Street and the Chamber of Commerce to create a shopping route through downtown stores under a new program called “Passport to Batavia.”

The 18 participating stores will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on July 30. Merchants will have special offers, discounts, tastings and free gifts.

Tickets are $20 and all proceeds will go towards the purchase of a Northern Illinois Food Bank truck to serve residents of the Batavia community, especially children and the elderly, Cynthia said. Kieckhefer, president of the Batavia Woman’s Club.

“I got the idea from my friend who always finds a nice new shop in Batavia,” Kieckhefer said. “And that’s how ‘Passport to Batavia’ was born.

You’d be surprised to find all the shops tucked away in Batavia’s many old limestone and historic buildings. They are filled with treasures.

Many of these businesses got their start in Batavia Boardwalk stores, Kieckhefer said.

“It’s a very trendy way to give new businesses a way to test the waters before opening their own ‘brick and mortar’ stores,” Kieckhefer said.

Passports will provide directions to participating merchants.

“The goal is to raise $2,000 for a fully stocked truck — including milk and eggs — for our community,” Kieckhefer said.

Passports are on sale now on the Batavia Woman’s Club website,

Passports are also available by calling Mike Burke at 630-802-5641 or Diane Anderson at 630-373-1793.

Passports will also be on sale at the Batavia Farmer’s Market from 9 a.m. to noon on the morning of the event.

Passport to Batavia will include a chance to win $100 Batavia Chamber Bucks to spend at local merchants.

Passports will come with a reusable bag.

Participating merchants are House of 423, CatTalpa Manor, Salon By The River, Fly Leaf Bakery Café, Special Occasions on the Avenue, Pretty Pages, Mojo Purses, Gia Bella Designs, Bocaditos Café, Wilson Street Mercantile, Red Hive Market, Dash Ten Works, Farm Dog Flowers, Bee Attitudes Antiques, Paula’s Couture Consignment, Six Cypress Boutique, Daddio’s Diner and WindMill Grill & Pizzeria