First Fridays welcomes two outdoor events, over 20 venues on Sept 1

 

DOWNTOWN AURORA – First Fridays hosts two outdoor events plus more than 20 venues open with art, music and more on Sept. 1.

Stolp Island Block Party, hosted by the Aurora Downtown organization of downtown business and property owners, features live art, live music, an outdoor market, a beer tent, and more from 6 to 10 p.m. on Stolp Avenue from Galena Boulevard to Downer Place. It’s the second block party of the year with the first one in August bringing more than 1,000 attendees.

More than a dozen artists will once again create live art on Stolp in front of If These Walls Could Talk, who is curating the art portion of the evening. The First Fridays summer concert series caps off with The Desperate Bastards at 6 p.m. and Miles Nielsen and the Rusted Hearts at 8 p.m. at the gazebo at Millennium Plaza. Aurora is the last stop for Nielsen’s summer tour before heading back to Rockford, Ill.

An outdoor market features fresh, locally grown produce from Renewed Roots Initiative; baked goods by Frosted Fig and Atrevete Confections; homemade soaps from Aroma Roots; essential oils and more from Illuminate Space; and pickled goods from Just Divine Foods.

Food vendors include Grumpy Gaucho, Wurst Kitchen, and . Gillerson’s Grubbery is setting up a beer tent at the festivities.

Additional food vendors including Joe’s Street Kitchen, Yum Dum, and others will be set up on Water Street Mall from 5 to 9 p.m. for the annual Roots Aurora, a cultural celebration benefiting Family Focus.

Roots Aurora offers a variety of diverse entertainment including Simply Destinee, youth performers from Segundo Ruiz Belvis Cultural Center, and Ballet Folklorico Quetzalcoatl. A talent show showcasing local youth begins the evening.

Art openings, live music, and more are featured at First Fridays on Sept. 1 at several locations throughout downtown including:

Paramount Theatre’s Grand Gallery, 23 E. Galena Blvd., kicks off a new season of art featuring the work of Dan Capo, Maureen Gasek, Chris Hodge, Leah Mitchell, Laura Lien Svencner, and Master Oil Painter David Hettinger. 7 to 9 p.m.

Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St., is open with the Aurora Art League Annual Show and Sale. 5:30 to 8:30 p.m.

If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens “Art of Nature: Danielle Ebersole.” 7 to 11 p.m.

Culture Stock, 43 E. Galena Blvd., hosts Respect the Mic spoken word. 8:30 p.m.

Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., features “Four Artists in One Space.” 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, kicks off a new season with The Lucha Libre Show. 6 p.m. to midnight

Repertoire Reservoir Studios, 14 W. Downer Pl. upstairs, is open with “Intonation Acclamation.” 7 to 10 p.m.

Indie Studio Space, 105 E. Galena Blvd., hosts “Member Showcase: Michael Mulvaney & Robert Renteria.” 5 to 8 p.m.  

David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., continues its WWI exhibit. 6 to 9 p.m.

River’s Edge Cafe, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 18, hosts Dan Becker and the Tourists CD release party. 7 to 9 p.m.

Aurora Regional Fire Museum, 53 N. Broadway, continues hosting a handful of area artisans at its monthly Pop Up Shops. 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.

SciTech Hands On Museum is open with their indoor planetarium StarLab from 6 to 8 p.m.

Christ Community Church is open with Community Coffeehouse, 78 S. LaSalle St. featuring live music, coffee, and tacos from 6 to 9 p.m., and Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., is open with Fresh Fridays, a mix of local produce and local art.

Joining the First Fridays lineup, The Web, 134 W. Downer Pl., hosts a solo art show by Aurora artist Alfredo Castil. 6 p.m. until close

A number of downtown businesses are also open with offerings including AKA Dance, Zen Loft Wellness Center, and Rocktown Adventures. Rocktown Adventures, 107 Spruce St., offers free 15 minute paddle rides from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Simply Destinee is unveiling their “Shining the Light on Suicide” street art project during First Fridays. Look for a dozen large light bulbs made by local artists throughout downtown.

First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides run from 6 to 10 p.m. For more information, visit www.auroradowntown.org.