Winter Lights Parking Info

Friday night’s kickoff of the 2013 holiday season in downtown Aurora has been made easy and convenient as the City of Aurora has lifted time restrictions for on-street and surface lot parking for the evening.

After 5 p.m., families and visitors will be able to park their vehicles for free during the duration of the Winter Lights festival and all of Friday night, without regards to the normal time restrictions that apply to on-street and surface parking lots. Parking in the Stolp Island Parking Deck will continue to be free for the first hour and $1 for each hour thereafter to a maximum of $5.

The second annual Winter Lights will be staged from 5 to 7:30 p.m. The free, family-friendly event will feature art, music, lights, refreshments and the lighting of the City’s official holiday tree. The festivities will take place on Downer Place, Stolp Avenue and Galena Boulevard in the downtown.

Motorists should take note that Downer will be closed from Water Street to Stolp and from River Street to Stolp, during the event. In addition, Galena will be narrowed to one lane only during the Holiday Tree lighting which will take place at 6 p.m. at North Island Center, 8 E. Galena.

The City is asking that all drivers use extreme caution during their downtown travels on Friday night.

The City is also inviting patrons of Winter Lights to assist the victims of last Sunday’s tornadoes in Central Illinois. The City is partnering with the Paramount Theatre to collect needed items which will be delivered to those who were impacted.

Donation boxes will be set up in the Grand Lobby of the Paramount, 23 E. Galena Blvd., for people to drop off cleaning supplies, toiletries, baby items, non-perishable food and other needed materials, until 8 p.m.  A detailed list of supplies can be found on Aurora’s website at www.aurora-il.org and by clicking on the Tornado Relief icon at the top of the homepage.

For those not able to attend Winter Lights, the Paramount will have the donation boxes set up until Sunday, Nov. 24. Donations will be accepted from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Downtown Parking Map

Editor’s note: We think that the best places to park for tonight’s festivities are at the many free city parking surface lots. The most convenient lots are located near Water Street and Benton just west of Broadway. Other lots are located further west on Benton near the library and SciTech and additional surface lots are scattered along River Street and New York Street. Look for the green “P” signs!