First Fridays is August 7...

A new pop-up shop event joins First Fridays in Downtown Aurora on Aug. 7. The shop is the product of the city of Aurora coming together with Seize the Future and Aurora Downtown to bring new businesses to vacant spots in downtown.   The first pop-up shop event will be held from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at 59 S. LaSalle St. on Friday night and from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 8.   Pop-up shop vendors include NostalChic by Rebecca, vintage clothing and collectibles; Biscocho’s, baked goods; ThriftyUpenyu, African jewelry and accessories; Gingham Turtle, handmade soaps; and Modest Coffee, locally roasted coffee and Nitro Cold Brew on tap.   Gobble Doggs, a food truck serving turkey hot dogs, will park on LaSalle Street during the event on Friday night.   On Broadway, a cavalcade of emergency vehicles will travel from North Aurora to Montgomery to the Aurora Regional Fire Museum in downtown Aurora. The parade begins in North Aurora at 6:30 p.m. and will approach downtown Aurora at approximately 7:15 p.m.   Live, outdoor concerts continue at Millennium Plaza on Stolp Avenue and feature music from Greg Boerner from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Melissa Olson from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. J.D. Klatt performs at the Sculpture Garden outside of the David L. Pierce Art and History Center from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.   Pick up a free First Fridays passport at any of the 17 venues. Return the punched passport at the last venue visited for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Earth, Wind and Fire at RiverEdge Park on Aug. 22.   In August, the following venues are open for First Fridays.   Pop-Up Shop, 59 S. LaSalle St., featuring a handful of...

Free Concerts at Wednesdays at the Plaza this August...

In an effort to utilize a communal public space, local businesses are hosting a series of free live music concerts every Wednesday in August from 6 to 8 p.m. at Millennium Plaza, on Stolp Avenue in downtown Aurora. The inaugural Wednesdays at the Plaza series will feature the following Fox Valley musical artists: Aug. 5, The Kevin Trudo; Aug. 12, Town Band; Aug. 19, Noah’s Arcade; Aug. 26, Greg Boerner and Jim Green. “It’s a great opportunity to join the community in supporting local musicians and businesses in downtown Aurora. We encourage people to bring their family and enjoy a nice evening by the river,” organizer Marissa Amoni said. The series is sponsored by Aurora Downtown, Downtown Auroran Magazine, The Compounder, The Yetee, Aurora Fastprint, Rocktown Adventures, and Louche Puce Market. For more information, visit...

Aurora Hero Con

Aurora Public Library’s first-ever Aurora Hero Con, a family event celebrating all things heroic, will be held at the Richard and Gina Santori Public Library on Saturday, July 18.   The library, which opened in June, is located at 101 S. River St. in downtown Aurora.   This epic event, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature visits from superheroes and activities for teens and children of all ages. Attendees are encouraged to dress up as their favorite heroes, like Spiderman and Batman, as well as police officers, doctors, military personnel and firefighters!  At 2:15 p.m., all those in costume are invited to join in the Dunham Atrium for a costume parade around the first floor.   Illustrator and caricature artist Dan Laib will conduct a drawing class, The Making of a Superhero,beginning at 11 a.m. in the Large Meeting Room. The class is open to the first 30 children (ages 8 through 12) to arrive and receive a ticket from a Hero Con staff member. Laib will teach the basics of traditional comic book style, including how to draw the human form and how to create a dynamic line of action.   Also at 11 a.m., The Teen Space will host a special Superhero Fandom Panel featuring Santori Library’s Teen Advisory Board. Superhero Jeopardy! will follow at noon with a repeat performance at 1 p.m.Superhero crafts (upcycling comic book wallets and bottle cap magnets)  and gaming (including Mario Kart and Super Smash Bros.) will take place in the Teen Space throughout the afternoon.   At 1 p.m., Laib will host an all-ages Making of a Superhero show, featuring live caricatures and audience participation. Seating for the show is first-come, first-served, with room for up to 75 attendees.   At 2:15 p.m., author...

AKA Dance Now Open in Downtown Aurora with Classes for Everyone...

AKA Dance just moved into its new home at 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 10 in downtown Aurora. The dance studio is already becoming home to its three owners. Annie McWilliams, Katie Porcelius, and Kim Ayala (along with their husbands) opened the studio temporarily in a space a couple of doors down at the end of spring.  The studio is now open in its permanent location, formerly Business Solutions. McWilliams and Porcelius are both dance instructors; Ayala is the organizing force. Ayala met the two when her daughters took dance classes through the Fox Valley Park District, where McWilliams and Porcelius taught for several years. Porcelius said they wanted to eventually branch off on their own, and they’ve always liked downtown. “We love downtown. And we have very friendly neighbors,” McWilliams said. “This whole block is like a family,” she added. They’re excited to start participating in First Fridays, and to offer ways that the community can get involved at the studio. For being a new dance studio, they are quickly growing. They currently have 22 members in their dance company, and a second round of auditions is scheduled for Aug. 15. McWilliams said that students are enjoying the new space and the artsy vibe of downtown. AKA Dance offers dance classes in all genres, including hip hop, jazz, contemporary, ballet, pointe, and tap. An adult barre class is also offered, along with a dance class for boys. Visit AKA Dance on Facebook here. Learn more at their website...

The Bazaar on Water Street Showcases Area Artists on July 18...

Artists and artisans of a variety of styles will be showing and selling their wares during the very first Bazaar on Water Street, set for Saturday, July 18, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on the Water Street Mall, located between Galena Boulevard and Downer Place just east of the Fox River. The Bazaar will feature 45 artists and photographers, in cutting edge contemporary, lowbrow and outsider art styles, and will also feature an artisan alley. Painting live during the event will be five of Aurora’s best artists: Brittany Tripp, FISK, Lita Lu, Kittens of Industry and Pierre Lucero. Fermilab and INK 180 will each have community booths at the event. Founded in 1967, Fermilab has been the U.S.’s premiere physics laboratory. INK 180 is an Oswego-based tattoo company that serves the community by providing cover-up of gang tattoos and sex trafficking tattoos free of charge. The event is presented by ArtBar, which kicked off the First Fridays art gallery tradition in downtown Aurora and is regularly featured at Two Brothers Roundhouse. “This event will bring out some of the best talent in Aurora and the Fox Valley,” organizer Javi Terrazas said. “We encourage everyone to come down and enjoy a nice summer day in downtown Aurora and support local artists.” For more information on ArtBar and the Bazaar visit...