Friday, April 29, 2011

May 7: Free Comic Book Day

Free Comic Book Day is such a cool day that we had to post it to Free Things even though the closest comic shops are in St. Charles and Plainfield. Well, there might be a few comics at Anderson's in Naperville and Town House Books in St. Charles - and not sure if Kiss the Sky in Geneva has any. But anyway, you get free comic books! It happens the first Saturday in May - you just walk into a comic book store and get free stuff. Cool!
Stop by Graham Crackers and grab 3 free comic books at all of their Chicagoland locations. Sweet!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

May: Free chemical treatment for rust stains


Residents should avoid washing their clothes between 8 a.m. and noon Monday through Thursday as the Aurora Fire Department tests fire hydrants throughout the City in May and June.

Firefighters flow test the hydrants annually to make sure they operate properly in the event of an emergency. The testing is done in the mornings during the spring months because problems can be addressed quickly by City staff and there is less demand on Aurora’s water system compared to the demands of the later summer months.

The water is safe to drink, but residents should run faucets for 30 seconds or longer if discoloration appears. The hydrant testing may produce rusty water capable of staining clothes, and residents should avoid doing their laundry during the morning testing periods.

Laundry stained by rusty water should not be dried. The Fire Department offers bottles of Liquid Poly, a chemical treatment, to remove these stains. Appointments can be made to pick up a free bottle at the following locations:

Central Station, 75 N. Broadway Ave., 630-256-4000
Station No. 3, 600 W. Indian Trail Road, 630-256-4030
Station No. 5, 730 Hill Ave., 630-256-5050
Water Treatment Plant, 1110 Aurora Ave., 630-256-3250

For more information on the hydrant flushing program, call Customer Service at 630-256-INFO or visit the City’s website at

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

April 29: Free oak seedling at WMS

Aurora residents attending the City’s Arbor Day event at Washington Middle School Friday, April 29 will be going home with a free seedling oak.

The City will celebrate Arbor Day from 1 to 2 p.m. at the school, 231 Constitution Drive. The event is sponsored by the City in conjunction with Living Lands and Waters Foundation, Commonwealth Edison and West Aurora School District 129.

Dignitaries scheduled to speak at the event include Mayor Tom Weisner, 5thWard Alderman James “Whitey” Peters, Aurora Public Library Director Eva Luckinbill and West Aurora School District 129 Superintendent James Ryland.

Trees will be planted along Constitution Drive, and the free oak seedlings will be distributed to residents at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Euro-style Summer Flea Market on Water Street Mall

Aurora - Second Saturdays are filled with collectibles, vintage treasures, retro items and antiques this summer on Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora.

The first of it's kind, Aurora's Louche Puce Market (pronounced loosh pyoose) brings a juried offering of furniture, glassware, ephemera, architectural salvage, costume jewelry, vinyl records, books, vintage fashions, objets d'arte and objects of curiosity.

A festive community event, Louche Puce takes place on Water Street Mall, a tree lined alley between Downer and Galena, on the second Saturdays of the summer months (June 11, July 9, August 13 and Sept. 10.)

Sales start at 9 a.m. and the fun continues until 4 p.m. All ages will find something to do along the mall, whether browsing goods or hula hooping in the adjacent Mundy Park.

Experienced or novice vendors with an eclectic inventory of items are invited to apply for a sales space. Contact organizer Jeanne Norris at 630-844-3224 or e-mail her at

View Louche Puce Market on Facebook.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

April 30: Fox River Clean Sweep

Earth Day Fox River Clean Sweep April 30

It's time for our Annual Fox River Clean Sweep in Aurora and Elgin. Events will be held on Saturday April 30 from 9am to noon. Wear sturdy shoes, heavy gloves if you have them, and most important bring your own re-usable water bottle. We will have water available, but no throw-away bottles are allowed on site, as they are a big part of the problem already. Snacks will also be provided. Bring sunscreen and a hat just in case. We will provide bags, gloves and "litter gitters". All participants must sign a waiver, and all participants under age 18 will require a parental signature.

In Aurora, we'll meet in the parking lot of the Aurora Township Building at 80 North Broadway.

In Elgin, let's meet at the North Parking lot of Trout Park at the Intersection of under Ave and Trout Park Blvd. Elgin.

Pre-registration is recommended but not required. For Aurora, contact or

For Elgin, contact,, or

Working together we can make a Clean Sweep in both Elgin and Aurora. See you on April 30th.

The Fox River is Forever! Dams are Not!

Monday, April 18, 2011

April 23: Easter Bunny at Phillips Park

Come Meet The Easter Bunny At Phillips Park
An Aurora spring tradition continues as a furry visitor plans to greet children at Phillips Park on Easter weekend.
The Easter Bunny will be greeting families between 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at the Phillips Park Visitors Center, 1000 Ray Moses Drive. Children can have their picture taken with Mr. Bunny, but parents need to bring their own cameras.
The East Side School DECA program students will be at the park selling decorative frames for the photos.
The event is sponsored by the Friends of Phillips Park. For more information on Phillips Park, visit
Location: Phillips Park Visitor Center, Aurora, Illinois

April 27: Free Resident Day at Blackberry Farm

Residents of the Fox Valley Park District can enjoy free admission to Blackberry Farm from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 27, as the living history museum celebrates its 42nd anniversary.

The third annual Family Fun Day will include unlimited rides on the train, hay wagon, carousel and pedal tractor course.

“This is a way of saying thanks to all our residents who have shared in the enjoyment of this park over the years,” said facility supervisor Sandy Smith. “Our residents have helped make Blackberry Farm a truly unique and special place to visit.”

Residents of Aurora, North Aurora, Montgomery and Sugar Grove are eligible for free admission. Each person must provide a driver’s license to show proof of residency.

Blackberry Farm – set amid 54 scenic acres of lakes, ponds and forest – will feature demonstrations of pioneer life with interactive displays and historical interpreters relating tales of yesteryear. Guests can visit the Discovery Barn, Pioneer Cabin, Wagner House, Pottery Shop, Blacksmith Shop, Spinning and Weaving Cabin, One-Room School House, Victorian Huntoon House and the five museums. Park concessions will be available as well.

Regular admission fee applies to non-residents: $6 for children/seniors and $7 for adults. For more information, call Blackberry Farm at (630) 892-1550.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Ongoing: Recycling electronics

The City of Aurora is bringing back its popular electronics recycling program – this time with an expanded schedule – starting at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 23.

The electronics recycling program provides a safe – and free – way to safely dispose of unwanted electronics. Beginning Jan. 1, 2012, a landfill ban will begin for computers, monitors, printers and televisions throughout Illinois.

Eligible electronics that will be collected include monitors, computers (both PCs and Macs), laptops, televisions, printers, fax machines, scanners, computer accessories (mouses, keyboards and modems), video game consoles, telephones, answering machines, cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), MP3 players, cameras, camcorders, servers and networking equipment, DVD players, stereos, and VCRs. Microwaves are the only kitchen appliance that can be recycled.

Large appliances such as air conditioners, stoves, refrigerators, freezers; smaller appliances including toasters and coffee makers; and household hazardous waste materials will not be accepted.

City electronic recycling collection events will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at either the Aurora Customer Service Center, 3770 McCoy Drive, or at the City’s Central Garage facility, 720 N. Broadway Ave. Customer Service Center dates include April 23, May 28, June 18, July 23, Aug. 20, Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17. Central Garage dates are May 14, June 4, July 9, Aug. 6, Sept. 10, Oct. 8, Nov. 5 and Dec. 3.

Residents are required to unload their own electronics out of their cars at the collection sites.

For more information on the City’s electronics recycling collection, call Customer Service at 630-256-INFO or visit

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

April 30: El Dia de los Ninos fiesta

The Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board (AHHAB) is partnering with East Aurora School District 131 and West Aurora School District 129 to celebrate “El Dia de los Ninos,” or Children’s Day.

The traditional Latin American event will be held from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30 at the Aurora Transportation Center parking lot near the northwest corner of Spring Street and Lincoln Avenue. This year’s theme is “Books and Libros” and will focus on the importance of children’s literacy.

“We are excited about the partnership with the school districts. This event is to celebrate children and what better way to do it than with the support of our schools,” said AHHAB Chairman Diana Torres. “This partnership is the first of many future ones this board seeks.”

Both school districts will provide more than 3,000 books to give away to children who visit literacy stations staffed by volunteer teachers. Student participants will receive a bookmark that will be stamped at each station they visit and later can be redeemed for a free book.

Activities will include stage performances by the students in both District 129 and 131, a magic show, the Wulin Dynasty Cheer, inflatables, face painting and more. The event is free to the public, and food will be available for purchase.

Other organizations providing free children’s activities include Girl Scouts of Northern Illinois, the Aurora Public Library, Rush-Copley Medical Center, Aurora Township and Faith Tabernacle.

People interested in sponsoring or participating in this event can contact Dee Basile in the City’s Public Information Office at 630-256-3368or email her at Money raised at the event will be used for student scholarship sponsored by the AHHAB Board.

Monday, April 11, 2011

April 15: Japan Relief Show at 7 West Studio

Aurora - Clever! Shiny! Strange! Pretty! things from local artists will go toward Japan Relief this April and May.

7 West Studio in downtown Aurora is holding a show where selected works will be up for sale to benefit those affected by the recent disaster in Japan. Japan Relief items sold at the studio will help fund the efforts of American Red Cross to help earthquake victims in Japan.

7 West Studio's Japan Relief Show opens on Friday, April 15 and runs until the end of May. The public is invited to an opening night reception from 5 to 9 p.m. on Friday, April 15. Join the 7 West artists for an important night of art to support Japan Relief. Store hours are regularly 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

7 West Studio features original art, jewelry and gifts by your friends and neighbors in a lovely location along the river between Stolp Avenue and River Street.

Street parking is free during the opening reception and convenient parking is available in a parking garage at the corner of Stolp and Downer.

Visit to shop the studio online.

April 16: Earth Day at Red Oak

Red Oak Nature Center will celebrate Earth Day on Saturday, April 16, with an afternoon of fun and games designed to raise awareness on how to keep the planet healthy.

From 1 to 3 p.m., visitors are invited to take part in a variety of fun and educational activities that promote reusing and recycling to make for a more Earth-friendly household.

Admission is free to all, with one condition – each child is required to bring six rinsed plastic bottles or a gently used children’s book as their entry “ticket.” The bottles will be used for various games and the books become part of a library to be used for a book swap.

Interactive games and crafts for children will be played inside and outside the nature center. Stations will be set up for games such as bottle bowling, container stacking, musical tubes and yogurt planters, among other games. An “unnatural” scavenger hunt also will take place.

Families are encouraged to attend and discover how each family member can make an impact that helps preserve a better Earth for tomorrow. All children must be accompanied by an adult. The event also serves as a great service project for Scout groups.

The Fox Valley Park District’s Red Oak Nature Center is located on Route 25, one mile north of Route 56 (Butterfield Road). The park stretches for 40 scenic acres along the east bank of the Fox River and features a central museum with hands-on displays. Admission is always free. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Call (630) 897-1808 for more information. For information on Fox Valley Park District programs and facilities, visit

NOW: Call for Aurora ArtWalk artists for June 3!

The Aurora ArtWalk is back! ArtWalk V will happen once again from 7 to 10 p.m. on Friday, June 3 in the area of Stolp Avenue and Downer Place in downtown Aurora.

New this year, venues will display different perspectives of art; art as seen through people’s relationship to society and the particular groups and/or philosophies with which they identify.

You’ll see art from all walks of society: freaks and geeks, classical and modern, religious and political, cultural and historic, sporty and sexual, offensive and appetizing, repulsive and engaging. Be prepared to experience humanity in all its forms.

Artists are invited to submit their art for consideration of inclusion in the ArtWalk. All types of art will be considered. Interested artists must apply online for the Aurora ArtWalk through the website at and pay an entry fee of $20. If selected, artists will be paired with a fitting downtown venue in which to exhibit or perform. All artists accepted through this juried process must be able to deliver work and attend/perform for the duration of the ArtWalk, and are eligible for the award. Any and all ArtWalk artists are encouraged to offer work for sale.
Some artists will be invited, and others need to apply.

Those selected applicants will be eligible to win an “audience favorite award” through a monetized voting process. Attendees will purchase “votes.” Each artist will collect votes. Whoever collects the most votes wins an all new Traveling ArtWalk Award and becomes the ArtWalk ambassador for one term—until the next ArtWalk!

Artists in any medium are encouraged to apply. The ArtWalk is open, but not limited to: dancers, photographers, painters, performers, vocalists, poets, sculptors, spoken word artists, ceramicists, authors, installation artists, independent filmmakers, environmental artists, and musicians of all genres. All submissions are due by April 29, 2011. Artists will be notified by May 15, 2011.

The last four ArtWalks saw outstanding attendance with standing room only audiences bringing thousands of patrons and art lovers to downtown Aurora.

The Aurora ArtWalk is produced by the Cultural Creatives, a group of Aurora artists, patrons, business and property owners and engaged citizens with a common interest in encouraging an arts-friendly environment. For more information on the Aurora ArtWalk, visit Sponsorships for this event are currently available. For information on sponsorships, volunteer opportunities and questions related to the submission process, please e-mail :

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 9: Molded Heroes gallery show in downtown Aurora

What: Molded Heroes gallery art show in downtown Aurora will display prints for sale by more than 20 local and national artists.

When: Opening reception is 6 to 10 p.m. on Saturday, April 9. Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 10.

Where: 75 S. LaSalle St. in downtown Aurora between Downer and Benton.

The show is the first of its kind in the area and brings artists from several states to hang poster art that focuses on toys from their youth – the plastic empire and beyond.

April 9: Fine Arts Fest at East High

Hundreds of students, staff, family and friends, will descend upon East Aurora High School on Saturday, April 9, 2011 for the annual D131 Fine Arts Festival. Fine Arts students in elementary, middle, and high school will display their talents in music, theatre, and art in a variety of performances and in a special art gallery.

From 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. in the Hawks Auditorium and adjacent areas, the schedule for the D131 Fine Arts Festival is:

§ 9:30 a.m. - Event begins / Art Gallery Opens

§ 10:00 a.m. - Band Concert featuring elementary, middle, and high school students

§ 11:15 a.m. - Drama performances from middle and high school students

§ 12:00 p.m. - Chorus Concert featuring elementary, middle and high school students

§ 1:30 pm – Event ends / Art Gallery closes

In addition, the East Aurora Jazz Band will perform three 30-minute sets at 11:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., and 1:00 p.m. in the EAHS cafeteria.

The D131 Fine Arts Festival is free and open to the public.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

April 15: Civil War at 150 exhibit in downtown Aurora

The Aurora Public Art Commission and the Aurora Historical Society are teaming up to present a new exhibit commemorating the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War.

“If I should not write you again: Remembering life in Aurora during and following the Civil War” will be on display starting with a special opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 15 at the David L. Pierce Art & History Center, 20 E. Downer Place. The event is free.

The exhibit will feature war-related items such as weaponry, photos and gear from local regiments, including a surgeon’s kit and field notes from Auroran Dr. Abner Hard, 8th Illinois Calvary unit; and the sword of Colonel Silas Miller of the 36th Illinois Infantry.

Artifacts from the home front on display will include images of Aurora in the mid-19th century, an 1860 Kane County map, clothing, tools and other household items of the era. Patrons also will be able to view historical treasures from Aurora’s former Grand Army of the Republic Post 20, such as the original charter, medals from various encampments, organization meeting minutes and photographs.

The Grand Army of the Republic, a national Civil War veterans’ organization, existed in Aurora from the 1860s to the 1920s. The GAR Memorial Hall, which was built in 1877-78, stands across the street from the Art & History Center.

The City of Aurora’s Public Art Commission (APAC) is seeking to raise at least $800,000 through public and private partnerships to complete both exterior and interior renovations at the GAR Memorial Hall. Once work is complete, the building will be opened as a veterans’ center and museum to learn about Aurora’s role in America’s wars and genealogical research.

People looking to make a donation to APAC’s GAR restoration effort can:

· Go online to the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley’s website at;

· Send a check or money order to the Aurora Public Art Commission Fund, Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley, 111 W. Downer Place, Aurora, IL 60506; or

· Call Aurora’s Customer Service Center at 630-256-INFO or call the Community Foundation of the Fox River Valley at 630-896-7800.

The Civil War exhibit will be open to the public during regular gallery hours from noon to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Friday through Jan. 20, 2012. Daily admission is free. For more information on the exhibit, visit the City’s website at

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

April 7: Kindergarten registration is here!

Dist. 129 Kindergarten Registration April 7

Registration for in-coming kindergarten students within School Dist. 129 will be held from 3-6 p.m., April 7, at the elementary schools.

Parents are asked to bring their children to registration in order to complete the screening process for the 2011-2012 school year. The screening will determine each student’s readiness level.

The district will offer a full-day option for all students this coming year. The half-day option also will be available.
The registration process requires verification of residency and student age. Two proofs of residency and a birth certificate are required. A language dominance test will be given, if a language other than English is spoken in the home.

Students now attending Todd Early Childhood Center will be registered for kindergarten there, so families do not need to register at their home school on April 7.

For more information, parents should contact the principal of the elementary school where their child will attend.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

April 27: Free AU business workshop

AURORA, Ill.—“ Beyond Compliance: The Consultative Approach to HR,” a free business workshop, will be explored at the Aurora University Human Resources Institute from 8 to 9 a.m. on Wednesday, April 27, in the University Banquet Hall at Alumni Hall, 1410 Marseillaise Place.

The public is invited. Networking and refreshments are at 7:30 a.m.

The guest speaker is Michael H. Hahn, co-founder and CEO of Woodridge-based Beyond Good Teams and an authority on stress resiliency, motivation, integrity and attitude.

Known as “Mr. Teams,” Hahn focuses on current issues blocking a high productivity and high positivity culture. He inspires and energizes audiences to live, work and play with purpose, passion and productivity.

With a high-energy, humorous style, Hahn urges audiences to reclaim their time, energy and motivation to enjoy living life beyond their current edge. He specializes in team off-site experiential learning.

Hahn holds a dual M.B.A. in entrepreneurship and leadership and change management from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Science degree in finance from Northern Illinois University. Team Coaching Internationally certified, he also holds black belts in Tang Soo Do and Hap Ki Do, South Korean martial arts.

The Human Resources Institute is co-sponsored by the Aurora University Dunham School of Business and Human Resource Management Systems, LLC of Naperville.

Reservations are requested. Call (630) 844-4894 or (630) 844-4917.

Future Institute programs are:

May 25: “Trends in Labor Relations”

June 29: “Current Federal and Illinois Legal Issues”

Aug. 31: “What You Need to Know to be in Legal Compliance”

Sept. 28: “Benefits/Compensation Trends”

Oct. 26: “Caterpillar—Developing and Maintaining a High-Performance Work Culture to Achieve Business Results”

Monday, April 4, 2011

April 9: Computer repair at AU

The public is invited to bring their personal computers for free checkups, cleaning and repairs by Aurora University students and faculty on Saturday, April 9.

The fourth annual “PC Check Up Day” will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Dunham Hall lobby, 1400 Marseillaise Place.

The sponsor is the Management Information Technology Club with assistance from criminal justice students.

David Dulany, Associate Professor of Business, said the event is a service-learning project by a dozen student volunteers.

Services scheduled include anti-malware (virus) check and malware removal, spyware check and removal, tune up to increase operating speed, and installation of free software.

A photo identification is required to drop off and claim serviced PCs.

Last year, student volunteers removed viruses, cleared gigabytes of speed-clogging files and provided free software applications for PCs brought in by area residents.

Dulany said the purpose of the effort is to test students’ technical expertise and provide public-service experience.

He added, “We will do anything possible to help get machines running at their best. We will try to offer customized tweaking as much as possible.

“We are pleased to offer this free service to the community for the third year,” he said. “ We have been providing this service to AU students for the past few years and know how valuable it can to be to the people we help.”

According to Dulany, experiential learning is a major part of Dunham School of Business degree programs.

“This event is one more way that we educate our students. The students get a great deal of satisfaction in being able to apply their knowledge in real-world situations like this,” Dulany said.

Free song: "Four and a Half Snapshots"

In a living room in Aurora, some music is being created by some talented folks.

Check out Kevin Trudo (voice and guitar), Chad Watson (upright) and Ron Donavon (guitar) on this original tune by Trudo, of Aurora. They can be seen around town as The Kevin Trudo plus Meathawk and also doing other people's songs as Debbie Does Covers.

April 13: Women's Day at VNA!

AURORA, IL. On Wednesday, April 13 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., VNA of Fox Valley will host a free health event for area women – It’s Women’s Day…at VNA! Everyone is welcome and there is no cost to attend. The event will be held at the VNA Health Center, 400 North Highland Avenue in Aurora. Women’s Health services will be featured, including digital mammography, bone density testing and pharmacy services.

Spanish translators will be available. No appointments are needed to attend this free, public event. A limited number of physical exams are available during Women’s Day and an appointment must be made for the physical exam. Call 630-978-9754, extension 8245 and leave your name and phone number if you would like to make an appointment for this service. Sliding scale fees will apply for the physical exam, or Medicare/Medicaid will be billed if applicable.

It’s Women’s Day…at VNA!

April 13, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.


  • Free bone density tests
  • Sign up for free mammograms (for uninsured and low-income women through VNA’s Illinois Breast and Cervical Cancer Program)
  • Free depression screenings
  • Complimentary Women’s Health Tests including blood pressure, blood sugar, and body fat.
  • The first 100 adults will receive a ticket for a healthy box lunch to go.

For additional information on It’s Women’s Day…at VNA!, community members can contact Amy Downing at 630-978-2532 or

The Visiting Nurse Association of Fox Valley (VNA), is a humanitarian, not-for-profit organization based on the concept that each individual is unique and is to be treated with dignity. VNA has been at the forefront of health services in the Fox Valley area since 1918, responding to community need with exceptional healthcare delivered at home, in VNA clinics, and in every neighborhood.

Friday, April 1, 2011

April 2: Annie's Om Towne OPEN HOUSE

AURORA – On April 2, Annie Craig opens Annie’s Om Towne Fitness, her yoga studio upstairs at 14 W. Downer Pl. in downtown Aurora, for a day of fun, fitness and community.

Craig moved into the large open studio overlooking the Fox River last summer and is excited to share the space with the community.

“This is my haven and I’m looking forward to welcoming everyone,” said Craig, who will provide free demonstrations of yoga, pilates and hip tease throughout the afternoon.

Annie’s Om Towne Fitness also offers massage therapists, a hair salon, astrological and tarot consultations and more.

The open house is 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday. Additional downtown businesses will be a part of the festivities. Attendees are welcome to tour the studio, participate in abbreviated fitness classes and take in the sights of downtown Aurora.

For more information, call Annie’s Om Towne Fitness at 630-234-4928.