Shop Local in Downtown Aurora Nov30

Shop Local in Downtown Aurora...

The streets in downtown Aurora are all lit up in anticipation of Christmas. Streetlamps adorned with stars, Santa Claus peering from the library roof and a towering spruce tree strung with strands of LED lights atop the stairs of North Island Center on Galena Boulevard all mean one thing. It’s time to shop for presents. But wait, you don’t have to pull into the nearest strip mall to grab a stocking stuffer. You can visit some local downtown businesses for a variety of unique gifts. And now with free parking in downtown Aurora it’s easier to go shopping. Food and drink If you have foodies on your list, then downtown Aurora — with around a dozen eateries — is a great place to fill up on gift cards, gift certificates and more. Here is a sampling of tasty items: Chef Amaury at 33 West. Located at 33 W. New York St. along Restaurant Row, this intimate, local restaurant owned by Auroran Amaury Rosado features several delectable courses inspired by local, seasonal and organic fare. Rosado frequently hosts wine dinners, and tickets would make an ideal gift for someone who has it all. Food-themed art by local realist artist Lisa Gloria is for sale on the walls. River’s Edge Café. They brew coffee, cook and cater at downtown’s only independent coffee shop located at 18 W. Downer Place. They’ll also make baked goods for you, or a frittata for holiday breakfasts. Their pumpkin muffins will make you want to practice your parallel parking. Fox Valley Homebrew. Two doors down from River’s Edge Café is Fox Valley Homebrew — a beer crafters dream. The small store sells beer and winemaking kits plus a whole lot of accessories for the hobby. Visit www.foxvalleybrew.com. Beautiful things Gallery 44. Private artist studios upstairs...

Meet Backthird Audio

Meet Benjie Hughes and get to know Backthird Audio in Aurora Downtown’s latest video in our spotlight series. Backthird Audio is a professional studio for musicians located at 67 S. Stolp Ave. in downtown Aurora. Thanks for watching!   About Downtown Aurora | Backthird Audio from Downtown Aurora on...

Winter Lights Parking Info Nov20

Winter Lights Parking Info...

Friday night’s kickoff of the 2013 holiday season in downtown Aurora has been made easy and convenient as the City of Aurora has lifted time restrictions for on-street and surface lot parking for the evening. After 5 p.m., families and visitors will be able to park their vehicles for free during the duration of the Winter Lights festival and all of Friday night, without regards to the normal time restrictions that apply to on-street and surface parking lots. Parking in the Stolp Island Parking Deck will continue to be free for the first hour and $1 for each hour thereafter to a maximum of $5. The second annual Winter Lights will be staged from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The free, family-friendly event will feature art, music, lights, refreshments and the lighting of the City’s official holiday tree. The festivities will take place on Downer Place, Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard in the downtown. Motorists should take note that Downer will be closed from Water Street to Stolp and from River Street to Stolp, during the event. In addition, Galena will be narrowed to one lane only during the Holiday Tree lighting which will take place at 6 p.m. at North Island Center, 8 E. Galena. The City is asking that all drivers use extreme caution during their downtown travels on Friday night. The City is also inviting patrons of Winter Lights to assist the victims of last Sunday’s tornadoes in Central Illinois. The City is partnering with the Paramount Theatre to collect needed items which will be delivered to those who were impacted. Donation boxes will be set up in the Grand Lobby of the Paramount, 23 E. Galena Blvd., for people to drop off cleaning supplies, toiletries, baby items, non-perishable food and other needed materials, until 8 p.m.  A detailed list of supplies...

Gingerbread Firehouses!...

  Grab your sugar, grab your spice – and run, run, fast as you can! It is once again time to enter the Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest & Exhibition. The Aurora Regional Fire Museum is pleased to announce the 5th annual Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest and Exhibition. More than $500 in cash and prizes will be awarded in three different divisions.  As in years past, the rules state all entries must depict a firefighting themed architectural structure, (a firehouse, burning building, etc.) — real or imaginary, and everything, except for the base, must be made from 100% edible materials. For those needing some inspiration and advice, check out the Ideas, Tips, and Tricks page for photos of last year’s gingerbread FIREhouses, images of various (real) fire stations from around the world, gingerbread baking recipes, and lots of decorating ideas.  All entries must register by Nov. 19th.  The contest opens to the public and will be judged on Saturday November 30.  Judging will take place from 1:00 to 3:00pm and winners will be announced at 3:30pm. If making your own gingerbread from scratch sounds too intimidating, the Aurora Regional Fire Museum has partnered with PME School of Cake Decorating (located across the street from the museum) to offer a family gingerbread making workshop on Saturday Nov 23. This two-hour, hands on, beginner class is suitable for both families and novice adults. Each individual (or parent/child team) will design and decorate their very own gingerbread firehouse or burning building. Following the workshop, participants are invited to leave their completed creations for entry into the Aurora Regional Fire Museum’s Gingerbread FIREhouse Contest. The exhibit runs through Dec. 21. Visit www.auroraregionalfiremuseum.org for more...

Veterans Day Parade Nov05

Veterans Day Parade

The City of Aurora will recognize the dedication local military service men and women have given to our country at the annual Veterans Day Parade and Ceremony on Monday, Nov. 11. The parade will step off at 10:15 a.m. from the corner of Broadway Ave. (Rt. 25) and Benton St., and will travel north on Broadway, then west on Downer Place to the GAR Memorial Hall, 23 E. Downer, where the “Honoring All Who Served” ceremony will take place. The ceremony will conclude with a military rifle salute by veteran organizations at 11:11 a.m., the exact time the armistice was signed that ended WWI. Groups participating in the parade include the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, Waidley VFW Post 468, AMVETS Post 103, Fox Valley Marines, the City of Aurora Veteran’s Advisory Council, Marmion Academy Flannigan Rifles, East Aurora High School Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps, Chicago Highland Rifles, Aurora Police Honor/Color Guard units, Aurora Fire Department Honor Guard and many local organizations. Mr. Wesley Yi, a Vietnam veteran who currently serves as a Veterans Service Officer with the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, is the ceremony’s keynote speaker. Yi served in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1968, spending his last year in Vietnam as an Army Artillery Officer with the 1st Infantry Division, III Corps. He was stationed in Lai Khe and fought in the 1968 Tet offensive. Yi was awarded the Vietnam Campaign Medal with four Bronze Stars, a Vietnam Cross of Gallantry Medal and an Army Commendation Medal for his service. After his discharge from the Army, Yi went on to a long and distinguished business career and held executive-level management positions in high-tech electronics companies in Connecticut and suburban Chicago. He also served as an adjunct professor at Robert Morris University and taught...