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First Fridays

May 5 @ 5:00 pm - 11:00 pm

First Fridays is basically a downtown open house that welcomes the entire community to enjoy art, music, dancing, dining, theaters, museums, and more.

For more information, look for the First Fridays invitation on Facebook. Or check out our home page.

Details

Date:
May 5
Time:
5:00 pm - 11:00 pm
Event Categories:
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Organizer

Aurora Downtown

Venue

Various Venues

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

Posted by on Jun 12, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Help us beat the Headbanging World Record at 4th of July in Aurora

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:...

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Aurora Museums After Dark kicks off this summer in downtown Aurora

Posted by on Jun 4, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Aurora Museums After Dark kicks off this summer in downtown Aurora

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....

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Memorial Day in downtown Aurora on May 29

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Memorial Day in downtown Aurora on May 29

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 Aurora, and Metea Valley High Schools, and Granger and Hill Middle Schools —  and other crowd favorites such as the Lamplighters Chorus, the Aurora Shriners Club, the East Aurora NJROTC, Aurora 88’s Roller Derby League, Simply Destinee Dance Team, the crowd-electrifying South Shore Drill Team and more will also step off through downtown Aurora. WORLD WAR I EXHIBIT AT ART & HISTORY CENTER In addition, “With the Colors from Aurora,” an exhibit on Aurora’s involvement in World War I opens on Memorial Day, with a reception from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the first floor gallery of the David L. Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The exhibit includes original artifacts from the war and a life-sized replica of the trenches in which more than 3,600 Aurorans – about a tenth of the City’s entire population at the time – fought or died in European battlegrounds. The reception is free and includes refreshments from the canteen served by costumed recruits. Free parking is available in downtown parking lots and the Stolp Avenue parking deck.  The deck can be accessed on Stolp from either Downer Place or Benton Street prior to the start of the...

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

Posted by on May 22, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on First Fridays on June 2: Live music, art and more in downtown Aurora

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 to 9 p.m. Rocktown Adventures, 107 Spruce St. Free 15 min. paddle rides on the Fox River 6 to 7:30 p.m. All Spoked Up, 14 W. Downer Pl. Sir’ly Machinist pop up 5:30 to 9 p.m. AKA Dance, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 10 Free Kids Dance Class at 6:30 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl., upstairs $5 Mini classes: yoga, belly dance, and aerial yoga. $10 sample massage and more. 6 to 9 p.m. SciTech, 18 W. Benton St. Art & Exhibits 6 to 8 p.m. Riverfront Playhouse, 11 Water Street Mall “Bus Stop” 8 p.m. $17 Tickets: http://www.riverfrontplayhouse.com/ Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway Pop Up Shop and Fire Sale 6 to 9...

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

Posted by on May 18, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Endiro Coffee opens in downtown Aurora; brings “glocal” food and vision

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 do more than what they had ever imagined in partnership with others to end child vulnerability, according to Lorance.  “We are amazed at what has been accomplished, but we know we are still at the beginning, the things we see on the horizon in the next year – in Uganda and in other parts of the world – are going to take us to another level in terms of what we can do for the sake of vulnerable children,” Lorance said. Endiro is now open in the heart of the Aurora’s historic downtown district.  Aurorans, Chicagoans and even diaspora Ugandans can be treated to single-origin Ugandan coffee from the village of Bukalasi in Bududa, specialty grade Ugandan tea from Mityana, and even some Ugandan street food favorites such as rolex, samosas, and muchomo.  “In true Endiro fashion, a full breakfast, lunch and dinner menu compliment a coffee, tea and juice menu that will be difficult to beat,” Lorance said.  “We call our culinary style, ‘Glocal Food’ because we like to take popular dishes from around the world and put our own, distinctly Ugandan twist on it.” The Endiro Aurora location is also a roastery, which means that all the coffee customers drink is roasted in house to ensure maximum freshness and flavor – and home brewers needn’t worry as they will always be able to take a bag of their favorite beans home with them along with Endiro’s signature t-shirt which proclaims boldly, “With enough coffee, I can change the world!” Endiro’s leaders are networking with local organizations that...

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Head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody at RiverEdge Park on July 4

Posted by on Apr 28, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Head bang to Bohemian Rhapsody at RiverEdge Park on July 4

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...

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

Posted by on Apr 26, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on US Air Guitar Competition joins the Wayne’s World celebration on May 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,...

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

Posted by on Apr 20, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on First Fridays fills downtown with art, food trucks, live music on May 5

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 of 1 E. Benton St. presents “Congressional Art Competition,” featuring local high school artists. Students compete to have their artwork displayed in Washington D.C. at the Capitol Building. The event is sponsored by Congressman Bill Foster. 6 to 9 p.m. Oxie Affordable Optical, 131 W. Galena Blvd., welcomes author Nancy Hopp for “Ruth Van Sickle Ford Art Show.” Hopp and other Aurora residents share their Ruth Van Sickle Ford art. Hopp’s book, “Warm Light, Cool Shadows: The Life and Art of Ruth Van Sickle Ford,” will be available. 5 to 8 p.m. Repertoire Reservoir Studios, upstairs at 14 W. Downer Pl., is open with “Incendiary Gestures” from 7 to 10 p.m. Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts Washington Middle School art teacher Samantha Oulavong’s students from 6 to 8 p.m., Human Library of the Fox Valley from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. and Spoken Word from 8:30 to 10 p.m. Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St., is open with an interactive STEAM event with IMSA showcasing their virtual reality tool and Dunham STEM School seventh and eighth grade students present an interactive exhibit of energy efficient houses they each designed and built. Visitors can use a cell phone to access the QR codes on the houses that explain the individual house projects. Santori’s Makerspace will be open and showing off a variety of fun technologies. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, celebrates their third anniversary with Tone Deft playing classic rock and blues music on the back...

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Aurora’s Summer Second Saturdays are free, family-friendly fun at downtown plaza

Posted by on Apr 19, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Aurora’s Summer Second Saturdays are free, family-friendly fun at downtown plaza

Aurora’s Summer Second Saturdays are free, family-friendly fun at downtown plaza

Summer Second Saturdays are brought to you by Aurora Downtown, a non-profit group of business and property owners located in SSA # One in downtown Aurora. Enjoy an afternoon of free, family-friendly fun along the Fox River at the gazebo at Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave. Bring lunch! Events are from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 13: School of Rock Plainfield School of Rock Plainfield, where students learn to rock on stage and in life. School of Rock isn’t just about creating killer musicians with a lasting love of music. Because life isn’t a solo act, we’re equally focused on creating awesome bands of friends and musicians. We’re as much about orchestrating a community in Plainfield full of cool experiences as we are about building confidence, extraordinary teamwork and achieving excellence through a unique teaching method. Everyone deserves to feel like a rock star. Welcome to a place where students learn to create face-melting music while developing the skills they need to do so much more. June 10: The Aviators The Aviators are student rock band from the Fox River Academy of Music and Art in Oswego, IL. Led by local musician Zach Goforth, the group performs a blend of modern rock and pop songs by Twenty One Pilots, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, and more. July 8: Two DJs and a Food Truck Aurora DJ’s United Entertainment’s DJ Pena and DJ Alfred bring their Chicago house-style mixes to the plaza this summer for one date only. Don’t miss it! A food truck will be joining us on Stolp Avenue. Gobble Doggs offers yummy turkey dogs and veggie dogs. Aug 12: Dabylon Aurora’s Premier Reggae Rockers… Dabylon is a work in progress that has matured over the past ten years. Made up of a mixture of family members and long time friends from the West Side of Aurora. Check out homegrown Aurora talent at its finest. Sept 9: Science in September featuring SciTech Hands on Museum SUPERCALI-SCIENTIFIC INTERACTIVE DEMOS for the whole family! Come down to the plaza and learn about science while having...

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Live summer music series at Millennium Plaza announced

Posted by on Apr 18, 2017 in Featured News | Comments Off on Live summer music series at Millennium Plaza announced

Live summer music series at Millennium Plaza announced

Millennium Plaza, the green space along Stolp Avenue next to Leland Tower in downtown Aurora, hosts 18 free concerts this summer. The concerts are part of Wednesdays at the Plaza, a free summer concert series, First Fridays, and Summer Second Saturdays, a free afternoon with family-friendly entertainment and activities. The concrete auditorium seating is the perfect setting for a summer evening with live music. May 5: Cinco de Mayo Concert: Sones de México Ensemble/James Sanders’ Conjunto May 13: Summer Second Saturdays: School of Rock Plainfield June 2: Eric Chesser and Blue Sky Blind with School of Rock Mokena June 10: Second Summer Saturdays: The Aviators June 14: Jake Mack and the Lesser Stags June 21: Empty Can Band June 28: Wayne’s World special concert feat. Noah’s Arcade with The Kevin Trudo and Friends July 5: Greg Boerner July 8: Second Summer Saturdays: Two DJs and a Food Truck July 12: Devil in a Woodpile July 19: Etha & Friends July 26: Town Band Aug 2: Anderlik, Otto & Church  Aug 4: Scott Tipping Trio with Ron Porter Trio Aug 9: Feed the Birds Aug 12: Summer Second Saturdays: Dabylon Aug 16: Big Sadie Aug 23: Rain Date TBD Aug 30: Rain Date TBD Sept 1: Miles Nielsen & the Rusted Hearts with The Desperate Bastards Wednesdays at the Plaza concerts are from 7 to 9 p.m. First Fridays concerts are from 6 to 10 p.m. and Summer Second Saturdays are 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Coolers (no alcohol) are welcome. Blankets and/or cushions are recommended. Chairs can be set up in the small lawn area. All concerts are sponsored by Aurora Downtown, a non-profit group of downtown business and property owners within SSA #One. Certain dates are also sponsored by City of Aurora and Wednesdays at the Plaza sponsors. Find Facebook invites to Wednesdays at the Plaza...

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