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 deck. 7 to 9 p.m.
Leland Legends, 1 S. Stolp Ave., is open with a DJ spinning tunes starting at 8:30 p.m.
A number of downtown businesses are also open with offerings including AKA Dance, All Spoked Up, YM Boutique, Gillerson’s Grubbery, and Rocktown Adventures. Rocktown Adventures, 107 Spruce St., begins their season of free 15 minute paddle rides from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, continues hosting a handful of artisans at its monthly pop up shop. This month, Humane Society joins with animals on hand. 6 to 9 p.m.
Stop by the GAR Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl., and visit the Museum Shop across the street at 20 E. Downer Pl. 6 to 9 p.m.
Also open during First Fridays is SciTech Hands On Museum’s outdoor Fox Motion Park and Christian Science Reading Room both from 6 to 8 p.m., Zen Loft Wellness Center with mini classes from 6 to 9 p.m., and The ArtBar presents The Delirium Show at Two Brothers Roundhouse from 6 p.m. to midnight.
The Riverfront Playhouse opens “Bus Stop” at 8 p.m. for $17. Tickets are available at www.riverfrontplayhouse.com.
Paramount Theatre continues its run of “Jesus Christ Superstar” at 8 p.m. Call (630) 896-6666 for tickets.
First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides from 5 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.auroradowntown.org.
***Party On! Wayne’s World Events***
Aurora Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway
Wayne’s World Photo Booth
6 to 9 p.m.
Last chance!!! View Wayne’s basement at 5 E. Galena Blvd. in the old Waubonsee building on Stolp and Galena. 6 to 9 p.m.
On-street trivia & more!
Free trolley rides from 5 to 10 p.m.
1) GAR Museum/Downer (serving Stolp/Downer parking garage)
2) Fire Museum/Broadway & New York St. (rear lot)
3) Restaurant Row/New York Street (serving Lot W)
4) Santori Library