Memorial Day in downtown Aurora on May 29...

The City of Aurora will honor the service men and women who gave their lives for our country during the annual Memorial Day ceremony and parade on Monday, May 29, 2017. The pre-parade ceremony – In Memory of Many, In Honor of All – will be held at 11:30 a.m. at the reviewing stand in front of the Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.   The parade steps off at noon from River and Benton streets, heads east to Broadway Avenue, turns north to Downer Place and concludes at River Street.  The best viewing area will be the in front of the Pierce Art and History Center. WWII veterans Ray Moore,  Bill Moore and William Wallbaum will serve as grand marshals. Leading the parade as Grand Marshals will be World Ward II Veterans Bill Moore, Ray Moore and William Wallbaum.   Bill Moore earned a commission with the U.S. Navy, rising to the rank of Senior Lieutenant in the British West Indies then came to Aurora, where he would later help to found public accounting firm Sikich.   Ray Moore served as a tail gunner on a B-17 “Flying Fortress,” for the Army Air Corp, and continues to be active in veteran’s organizations today, including the VFW, American Legion, and Burlington Veterans.   William Wallbaum, served as a member of the 1271 Combat Engineers Battalion in France, Germany and Austria before returning to Aurora to teach and coach at his alma mater, West Aurora High School. The 2017 Memorial Day Parade will also feature local military groups, including the Roosevelt Aurora Post 84, Amvets Post 103, Waidley VFD #468, Fox Valley Marines, GAR Commission Post #20, and the 36th Illinois Infantry volunteer re-enactors. Five marching bands – from East Aurora, West...

First Fridays on June 2: Live music, art and more in downtown Aurora...

First Fridays is art, music, dancing, theater, and more! Visit participating venues and explore downtown on the first Friday of the month. In June, First Fridays brings more free music to Millennium Plaza with School of Rock out of Mokena, Ill. opening at 6 p.m. and Nashville country star Eric Chesser performing at 8 p.m. Food trucks Gobble Doggs and Grumpy Gaucho will be parked on Stolp Avenue from 6 to 10 p.m. Free trolley rides from 6 to 10 p.m. Take a look at the many offerings in downtown Aurora on First Fridays on June 2. Art: If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave. Transitions: Shane Small 7 to 11 p.m. Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St. Art by Gerardo R. Madrigal/Music by DJ Marco 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Repertoire Reservoir Studios, 14 W. Downer Upstairs TBA 7 to 10 p.m. Music: Gazebo at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave. First Fridays Concert School of Rock Mokena at 6 p.m. Eric Chesser at 8 p.m. 6 to 10 p.m. Ballydoyle, 23 W. New York St. See website. River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. TBA 5 to 9 p.m. Leland Legends, 1 S. Stolp Ave. DJ/Karaoke 8:30 p.m. to close RiverEdge Park, Broadway Two Brothers Summer Festival 5 to 10 p.m. Tickets: https://riveredgeaurora.com/events/two-bros-2017/ More: Gillerson’s Grubbery, 33 W. New York St. Book Signing: “This Call May Be Recorded, Too” by Joel Frieders Solemn Oath Brewery 6 p.m. until gone! David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl. Aurora Story; With the Colors of Aurora 6 to 9 p.m. G.A.R. Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl. Open to the public 6 to 9 p.m. Rocktown Adventures, 107 Spruce St. Free 15 min. paddle rides on the Fox River 6...

Endiro Coffee opens in downtown Aurora; brings “glocal” food and vision...

From day one, the idea was simple, according to Cody Lorance. “Start a small business and make a little bit of money to support organizations that help vulnerable children,” said Lorance, who owns Endiro Coffee with Gloria Katusiime, a native Ugandan.  Endiro Coffee opened in May at 29 W. New York St. along Restaurant Row in downtown Aurora. Lorance said that Uganda is home to some 200,000 children living with HIV/AIDS and nearly 3 million are orphaned. “The critical needs of the next generation are impossible to ignore and many individuals and groups are trying their best to brighten the future for young people.  Endiro Coffee was born in this spirit, as a tiny little café in the great big city of Kampala, Uganda, ready to do its part for kids in need,” Lorance said.  What came next, however, was entirely unexpected, Lorance said. Endiro quickly became popular among locals and tourists alike and the business found itself needing to grow to keep up with demand. The little café in Kampala expanded to fill the adjacent building and then began to launch new locations in other parts of the country.  In 2015, Endiro opened its 4th and 5th locations amid growing popularity and launched its first coffee growing project. Today, Endiro has established itself as one of the most popular coffee brands in Uganda and has seen its operations expand from the coffee cup all the way to the coffee tree.  Currently, some 2,000 coffee farmers – most of whom are women – are members of the Endiro Growers network and 100% of Endiro’s Ugandan coffee comes from these farmers who receive training, equipment, mentoring and the nation’s highest prices per kilogram of coffee through the partnership. All this, of course, has allowed Endiro Coffee to...

Head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody at RiverEdge Park on July 4...

Aurora’s July 4th Celebration Tuesday, July 4 Park Opens: 3 p.m. American Legion Band: 6:15 p.m. Fox Valley Orchestra: 7:45 p.m. City of Aurora Fireworks: approximately 9:35 p.m. Admission: Free   RiverEdge Park always boasts one of the biggest celebrations in all of Chicagoland. Bring your friends and family to celebrate with Aurora’s patriotic American Legion Band playing incredible American standards, followed by the Fox Valley Orchestra playing from Top 40 hits to classics to your favorite movie scores. Before the fireworks, Aurora’s 25th anniversary Wayne’s World celebration ends with a Guinness world record attempt for the most people head banging to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Finally, the evening ends in a breathtaking, jaw-dropping fireworks extravaganza that will make you realize Aurora isn’t named the City of Lights for nothing. NOTE: The City of Aurora will provide free park and ride shuttle services from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., providing round trip transportation to 13 convenient locations throughout the city. Shuttle service resumes after the fireworks display until 11...

US Air Guitar Competition joins the Wayne’s World celebration on May 11...

US Air Guitar, the official governing body of competitive air guitar in America, just announced the US Air Guitar Championships 2017 Tour, which kicks off April 20 in Queens, NY and stops at Two Brothers Roundhouse in Aurora on May 11.   Traveling to over 20 cities coast-to-coast, US Air Guitar hosts live competitions where amateurs transform into rock stars while taking a shot at going pro and becoming the next US Air Guitar Champion.   The Aurora date is part of Party On! 25 Years of Wayne’s World, a six-month local celebration of the movie’s anniversary. Competitors are encouraged, but not required to dress as Wayne, Garth, or Cassandra and perform their best air guitar.   Wayne’s World themed prizes will also be awarded to competitors courtesy of Aurora Downtown and If These Walls Could Talk, a downtown frame shop and art gallery.   Competitions are part rock concert and part comedy show. The Aurora competition features former Chicago Regional Air Guitar Champion Adrianna “The White Flame” Lombardo, comedian Matt Drufke, and local radio celebrity Scott Mackay from The River as judges. Matt “Romeo Dance Cheetah” Cornelison, former National Air Guitar Champion, will emcee the event. US Air Guitar will tour two dozen cities before crowning the US Air Guitar Champion in Washington, DC on August 5. Competitors are encouraged to sign-up early at usairguitar.com. The event starts at 7 p.m. and is free for spectators. To sign up as a contestant,...

First Fridays fills downtown with art, food trucks, live music on May 5...

First Fridays is art, music, dancing, theater, and more! On May 5, visitors to First Fridays in downtown Aurora can visit numerous venues, explore downtown’s vibrant art scene, and fill up on food trucks. The second annual Food Truck Festival happens from 5 to 10 p.m. on Benton Street. The street will be closed to traffic from River Street to just west of Broadway. More than a dozen food vendors will be available with a variety of menu items for sale. The event is free and no tickets are required. Live music at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave., celebrates Cinco de Mayo and kicks off the summer season with Sones de México Ensemble at 6 p.m. and James Sanders’ Conjunto at 8 p.m. Party On! 25 Years of Wayne’s World continues at First Fridays on May 5 with on-street trivia with prizes, and the last chance to see the replica of Wayne’s Basement at 5 E. Galena Blvd. from 6 to 9 p.m. Art openings are featured at several locations throughout downtown including the fourth annual Jazz Occurrence presented by Rena Church and Lewis Achenbach on the third floor of David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl. It is Church’s last show as director of the Aurora Public Art Commission; Achenbach brings musicians Tim Daisy, Jim Baker, Brian Sandstrom, and Cameron Pfiffner and adds his live painting to the evening from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Emergent, a pop up art gallery at Metropolitan Coworking at 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 16, welcomes Darren Jones and his “Abstraction of Colour” from 6 to 9 p.m. If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens “Mosaic: Works by Frank Mascenic.” 7 to 11 p.m. Gallery 1904 in the lower level...