Lighting up Aurora’s downtown one building at a time
Aurora’s City Hall is bright with color on a fall night. Copyright 2016 Randy Benzie for Aurora Downtown
Aurora is the “City of Lights” and new lights installed on City Hall in downtown Aurora are proving that beloved logo to be true.
Aurora Downtown, an organization of downtown business and property owners, recently purchased and installed the colorful, LED lights. The lights were paid for by Aurora Downtown’s Decorating Committee as part of their annual holiday decoration budget which in the past has fully funded the installation of Christmas lights.
Previously, Aurora Downtown has paid a provider to install, repair, and store the Christmas decorations. As costs added up and Aurora Downtown recently lost a large majority of lights which they did not have the funds to replace, the decorating committee sought other ways to light up downtown.
“We wanted to look for an option that would be able to be used year-round that had long sustainability and would not have a high installation cost each year,” said committee chair Gina Salamone. She added that typical Christmas decorations last no longer than seven years before needing to be repaired or replaced.
The committee hired Brian Larsen of Country Wide Landscaping who is known for the popular Christmas light show in Elburn
. Additional electrical work was also donated by Brian’s father, Gary Larsen, who is retired from the City of Batavia.
The lights installed on City Hall will remain up year-round and can be changed to virtually any color.
“Our hope for the next few few years is to continue progressing the lights up the river and potentially to other locations each year rather than expanding our traditional Christmas light supply. City Hall seemed like a good place to start as it is a beautiful building and it can be seen from the Paramount and during popular events, like First Fridays,” Salamone said.
The decorating committee continues to maintain the pole lights, Christmas trees, and various holiday decorations in downtown Aurora each year. The committee was seeking downtown building owners to display the iconic, large Santa and reindeer decorations that used to sit atop the old library at 1 E. Benton St. and PME at 35 N. Broadway, but is currently collaborating with the city of Aurora to install them on the Stolp Island parking deck.
Aurora Downtown’s board meets at 8 a.m. on the third Thursday of the month at 43 W. Galena Blvd. Meetings are open to the public.