A Parade! Memorial Day Schedule in Downtown Aurora...

The City of Aurora will honor the service men and women who gave their lives for our country during the annual Memorial Day Parade on Monday, May 30 at Noon in downtown Aurora.   SPECIAL PRE-PARADE CEREMONY Immediately prior to the parade, a special Re-Dedication and Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony will begin at 11:00 a.m. to commemorate the re-opening of the historic Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Hall.  This pre-parade event  will be held across the street from the GAR Memorial Hall at the parade reviewing stand in front of the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.   The GAR Memorial Hall will be open for public tours following the parade.   A CAPTIVATING PARADE The 2016 Memorial Day Parade steps off at 12:00 p.m. from River and Benton streets, heads east to Broadway Avenue, turns north to Downer Place and concludes at River Street.   Leading one of the largest Memorial Day Parades in recent Aurora history will be Grand Marshal Scott Roscoe.  The local labor leader, community organizer and member of Aurora Veteran’s Advisory Council is a Vietnam veteran.   The  parade will also feature local military groups, including Roosevelt Aurora Post #84, Amvets Post #103, Waidley VFW #468, the GAR Commission Post #20, the Fox Valley Marines, the Chicago Highland Rifles; and   Crowd favorite, The Southshore Drill Team, returns for the 2016 parade. Energetic school marching bands, including East Aurora High School, Scullen Middle School, Waubonsie Valley High School, West Aurora High School; and   Many other crowd favorites, such as the Lamplighters Chorus, the Phillips Park Zoo Tram, the Aurora Shriners Club, the East Aurora NJROTC, Aurora 88’s Roller Derby League, Simply Destinee Dance Team, the always-electrifying South Shore Drill Team, and many many more...

First Fridays Plus Food Trucks, Live Music...

First Fridays brings art, music, and more to downtown Aurora on the first Friday of the month. In June, First Fridays continues the summer party with food trucks and live music at Millennium Plaza. Read on for the full lineup of events on June 3. Food trucks: Grumpy Gaucho; Gobble Doggs; Taco Grill Live music feat. solo performers John Klatt at Eric Dinse at Millennium Plaza from 6 to 10 p.m. June 3 Venues: – Art – Aurora Fastprint* (The Printed Show ~ 5 to 10 p.m.) This year, Aurora Fastprint celebrates 40 years of outstanding service as a business in Downtown Aurora. A favorite among local artists, businesses, and everyone else in between, Aurora Fastprint continues to impress with the high quality of service they provide. All artwork shown has been printed exclusively at Aurora Fastprint. If These Walls Could Talk* (The ‘J’ Show ~ 7-11 p.m.) We found that we knew an unusual number of artists whose names started with “J”. We thought it would be fun to round them up and give them a show, so that’s what we did. Culture Stock* (Urban Art Show ~ 6 to 10 p.m.)   The Light of the Heart* (Jake Stone’s “Mixed Media” ~ 7 to 9 p.m.) Jake Stone, a digital artist, graphic designer and photographer, will be displaying his works in a solo show entitled “Mixed Media.”  From the artist: In my world, I see art and design in everything.  Emergent @ Metropolitan Coworking* (Group Show ~ 6-9 p.m.) Featuring artists Jason Arthur, Jason Delancy, Teresa Millies and Brittney Tripp Santori Public Library* (Peter Hagerty ~ 6-9 p.m.) David L. Pierce Art & History Center* (Jazz Occurrence feat. John Pazdan ~ 6-9 p.m.) Allen + Pepa Architects* (Organic Shadows by Georgia Schwender ~ 5 to 9 p.m.)...

Summer 2016 Downtown Events Guide...

JUNE   Friday, June 3: First Fridays w/ Food Trucks and Live Music (5 to 11 p.m.) Two Brothers Summer Festival @ RiverEdge Park (5 to 11 p.m.)   Saturday, June 4: Two Brothers Summer Festival @ RiverEdge Park (noon to 11 p.m.)   Saturday, June 11: Aurora Farmers Market starts (runs through Oct. 15) (8 a.m. to noon) Aurora Greenfest @ Prisco Community Center (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.)   Sunday, June 12: Tour de Cure @ RiverEdge Park (5 a.m. to 4 p.m.)   Wednesday, June 15: Wednesdays at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza feat. Scott Tipping (6 to 8 p.m.)   Friday, June 17: Blues on the Fox @ RiverEdge Park (6:30 to 11 p.m.)   Saturday, June 18: Picnic at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza w/ Nate’z Dogs feat. Ali Morgan (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) Blues on the Fox @ RiverEdge Park (2 to 11 p.m.)   Wednesday, June 22: Wednesdays at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza feat. Greg Boerner (6 to 8 p.m.)   Friday, June 24: Kool & The Gang @ RiverEdge Park   Saturday, June 25: Willie Nelson/Kris Kristofferson @ RiverEdge Park   Wednesday, June 29: Wednesdays at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza feat. Crystal Gravy with The RPMs (6 to 8 p.m.)   JULY   Saturday, July 2: Weird Al @ RiverEdge Park   Sunday, July 3: KC & The Sunshine Band @ RiverEdge Park   Monday, July 4: 4th of July Parade (10 a.m.) Fireworks @ RiverEdge Park/McCarty Park (5 p.m. to 10:30 p.m.)   Wednesday, July 6: Wednesdays at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza feat. Anderlik, Otto & Church (6 to 8 p.m.)   Thursday, July 7: Hollywood Vampires @ RiverEdge Park   Wednesday, July 13: Wednesdays at the Plaza @ Millennium Plaza feat....

G.A.R. Memorial Museum Reopens on Memorial Day...

GAR MEMORIAL HALL REOPENS ON MEMORIAL DAY A multi-year restoration effort culminates this Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, 2016, with the reopening of Aurora’s Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Hall and Museum in downtown Aurora.   A ceremony re-dedicating the GAR Hall and Museum will be held during pre-parade events, beginning at 11 a.m. on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30, at the parade reviewing stand, across the street from the GAR Hall, in front of the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.   Civil War re-enactors of the 36th Illinois Infantry Regiment will post the colors for the ceremony. The Memorial Day parade begins at noon and the GAR will be open following the parade until 3 p.m.   RESTORATION AND REOPENING The GAR Museum is a memorial to area veterans of the Civil War. Built in 1877-78, GARMemorial Hall, Post 20, was closed in the mid-1990s because of structural concerns. But after a 15-year restoration project, the historic building at 23 E. Downer Place in downtown Aurora, will reopen in time for Aurora’s Memorial Day celebration.   Reopening Aurora’s GAR Memorial Museum on Memorial Day 2016 is particularly appropriate since 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the national Grand Army of the Republic veterans organization in 1866.   The GAR project has focused on restoring and stabilizing the exterior of the building, and restoration and creation of exhibits for the Angel Room, the main display area. For the reopening, the Angel Room is filled with unique exhibits on the Civil War and the GAR, on the brave Aurora soldiers who joined in the fight, and on everyday life in post-Civil War America.   The $3.5 million restoration effort – involving about 80 percent local...

Jazz and Art Create Music at First Fridays Art Opening in Aurora...

The Aurora Public Art Commission is featuring a pair of multi-artist exhibits in downtown Aurora beginning in May. “ROOMS of the MIND”, the 3rd annual Jazz Occurrence Art Exhibition, will run through July 23 at the Public Art Commission’s third floor gallery at 20 E. Downer Place. The free exhibit features the works of 15 visual artists — Lewis Achenbach, Renee Baker, Lauren Deutsch, Martel Chapman, Elliot Cowan, Lisa Flahive, Ton van Meesche, Burrell Sunrise, Daniel Young, Rolf Schroeter, Michael Jon Skura, Wes Douglas, Ronan Dexter and Grace Madeline. Lewis Achenbach is the founder of the Jazz Occurrence series (www.facebook.com/jazzoccurrence and www.lewisachenbach.com). Jazz Occurrence shows have been held in many venues in the Chicago area, including City Winery, the Velvet Lounge, the Ukrainian Institute of Modern Art Chicago, Instituto Cervantes Chicago, Glen Ellyn Bookstore, and the Green Mill. Jazz Occurrence “ROOMS of the MIND” can be viewed during regular Public Art Commission gallery hours, Wednesday through Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. As part of the First Fridays celebration of June 3 in downtown Aurora, veteran Chicago area bassist/synthesist John Pazdan and his group “The Empty Set,” featuring Eve Szokolai: Chimes, Viola, Voice and Electronics and Bil Vermette: Synthesizers will perform at the Public Art Commission gallery. Drawing from decades of recording and international touring experience, Pazdan will present a low-fi mix of modern acoustic/electric/electronic free improvisation. The free performance at the Public Art Commission will be from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The second multi-artist exhibit, “Art At City Hall, Spring, 2016: Construction Zone,” runs through Jan. 6, 2017, at Aurora City Hall, 44 E. Downer Place. “Construction Zone” showcases the assemblage art works of Bill Austin, Gary Brown, Charles Heinrich, Kip Pasta, Anton Witek, Jeff Thompson, James Jenkins, and Rosie Martindale. Assemblage — art...