Victorian Tea Room comes to downtown Aurora this fall...

Downtown Aurora will soon be the home of a unique new hangout spot. A Victorian tearoom. A local business owner, Tanya Barkdoll of Lincoln Avenue’s Calla Lily Salon, is opening a the new Victorian Tea Room on LaSalle Street by early fall. Barkdoll hopes to bring an authentic tea room experience to Aurora. She previously apprenticed with a tea room owner in England. Her experience doesn’t end there; Barkdoll ran Calla Lily Victorian Tea Room in Montgomery, Ill. before relocating to Aurora. Barkdoll intends for her tea room to serve traditional English high tea as well as a more casual afternoon tea, functioning similarly to English tea houses. Though the tea room is based on foreign customs, Barkdoll has been working closely with local businesses for supplies. The tea blender is a Naperville native while the honey served in store will come from an Aurora beekeeper. The tea room will function like a complete restaurant, serving sandwiches and other finger food as well as more interesting options like honey tea infusions and tea pairings with desserts and such. Barkdoll says that though the tea room is open to everyone, she wishes for it to be a place for women to congregate and for it to feel like “lounging and relaxing at Grandma’s”. She said that the former Montgomery tea room felt like a dainty women’s club, which she wants to bring to Aurora because she thinks it is a place for women to “relax and kick back and not feel rushed or hurried”. She added that the tea room will continue to host bridal and baby showers as well as women’s groups after hours like the previous location did. The tea room will fit in well with Aurora’s culture since it has already been...

WWI Exhibit opens in downtown Aurora...

  The David L. Pierce Art and History Center’s World War I exhibit is open to the public for free until January 6, 2018. The exhibit is open from 12 to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays through Saturdays at 20 E. Downer. The exhibit is based off of the 1919 book With the Colors From Aurora, which was compiled by Aurorans about their experiences in World War I. The complete text of With the Colors From Aurora is available digitally at archive.org. Artifacts from the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Museum and the Aurora Historical Society are also on display. The World War I showcases the memorabilia of Auroran veterans of various branches of the United States Armed Forces, including the naval and army uniforms. Posters, as well as other forms of propaganda from the era, are displayed alongside the other historical items. One of the most impressive pieces contained in the exhibit is the lifesize replica of a trench, complete with costumes for visitors to try on, a model rifle, a gas alarm, and a periscope. The exhibit’s interactive components, such as the full scale trench replica and coloring posters, make it appropriate for visitors of all ages, even children. However, its in-depth look into WWI’s impact on Aurora and greater America mean that it is engaging to older visitors with a stronger understanding of the war as well as tourists and longtime residents of Aurora alike. While the exhibit does not explore the more gruesome parts of WWI to a large degree, it leaves visitors with a better appreciation for Aurora’s role in the war effort along with the war’s impact on the city itself due to the homage it pays to the Aurorans that participated. Laura Nicholson Tom, a employee...

Help us beat the Headbanging World Record at 4th of July in Aurora...

  In honor of the 25th Anniversary of the release of Wayne’s World, the City of Aurora invites you to help us break the Guinness World Record for the Most People Head Banging Simultaneously. The Fox Valley Orchestra will be providing the soundtrack with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ performed live on stage before the Fourth of July Fireworks. (No way! WAY!) The current record to beat is just 320 people. And while we are going to smash that record, participation is limited to the first 1,000 people who arrive and are checked into the participation area. To participate: 1. Wear flannel or a bandana. 2. Come to RiverEdge Park for the Fourth of July. (It’s free and includes live music, plus food vendors will be around all evening starting at 6 p.m.) 3. When ‘Stairway to Heaven’ plays, that’s your cue to join us at the front of the park, to the barricaded area just in front of the stage. We’ll click you in to make sure you’re counted. 4. Sing along to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and when cued (you know the part!) head bang! (Please be conscious of your space and your neighbors.) WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! In addition to participants, Guinness World Record attempts require a number of volunteers to act as stewards, counting the crowds, monitoring participants to make sure everyone is participating, and submitting affidavits about the attempt. Volunteers will receive an identifying and commemorative bandana and the eternal gratitude of event organizers. (We’re not worthy!) Sign up to volunteer at:...

Aurora Museums After Dark kicks off this summer in downtown Aurora...

  Aurora Museums After Dark welcomes visitors to two downtown museums on June 8, July 13, and August 10. This summer, Aurora Regional Fire Museum, GAR Museum, and SciTech Hands On Museum are staying open for an extra few hours for families to enjoy. The museums will open from 5 to 8 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month from June to August. Children are free with paid adult admission and members are free. Each month the Aurora Regional Fire Museum will feature an array of changing activities. ·         June: Be Safe – Children can create their own mini first-aid kit and learn some basic first-aid tips. ·         July: Cool Off – Color your own fire helmet, enjoy an ice cream treat, and partake in educational demonstrations. ·         August: Create – Create your own mini collection to take home and learn about what a Museum is and why they collect what they do. SciTech will also offer interactive STEAM activities for children. GAR is open for visitors to explore. Aurora Museums After Dark is being supported by Inspection Reports Online and Aurora Downtown, with activities at the Fire Museum sponsored by Universal Security Instruments, Inc. Brian Failing, executive director of Aurora Regional Fire Museum, is excited to boost museumofferings in downtown Aurora. “This series seeks to bring families downtown to enjoy all that our great museums have to offer and allow us an opportunity to collaborate on new programming,” he said. Venture downtown when the stars are out, and enjoy a fun and educational treat for all ages....

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 Canyon Crayons 7 to 10 p.m. Holbrook Mill, 121 W. Benton St. Thompson Johnson: The Art of TJ Banks 6 to 9 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...