Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Sept 8: Pond/Basin naturalized planting seminar

Naturalized Basin Presentation

The Village of Montgomery has organized a free educational seminar to inform residents about the Village’s Naturalized Basin Program. The presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 8th, in the Community Room at the Montgomery Police Station, 10 Civic Center Avenue. This is an opportunity to hear from representatives of Pizzo & Associates, Ltd., the Village’s selected Natural Areas Maintenance Contractor, and get any questions about native plants and naturalized ponds answered.

The program will begin with a classroom-style presentation covering a general description of the naturalized pond program, an informative discussion about the benefits of using native plants in the landscape, and a more technical presentation on what it takes to install and maintain these unique and specialized landscapes. The indoor presentation should last 30-40 minutes, followed by a quick walking tour of the Civic Center Naturalized Pond (weather dependent) guided by Pizzo representatives, where you will be encouraged to see, touch and smell the multitude of native grasses and wildflowers growing around the pond.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Aug 27: Bug Fest

NORTH AURORA – Insects and the fascinating world of bugs will take center stage from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 27, when the second annual Bug Fest is held at Lippold Park and Red Oak Nature Center.

The free, family-friendly event will feature fun and educational activities with a swarm of bug-related games, demonstrations and crafts. In addition to Lippold Park and Red Oak, the event will utilize the one-half mile stretch of the Fox River Trail that connects the two facilities.

Visitors can park and begin their exploration at either Lippold or Red Oak site. ark. Each site will have Bug Fest guide books available, live music and snacks. Overflow parking is available on Bond Drive – just north of Red Oak and Lippold on Route 25 across from Glenwood Park – with free shuttle service provided.

Children and adults alike will learn about the benefits of bugs and the important roles they play such as pollinating plants and flowers, aerating the soil and serving as a major source in the food chain.

“Bugs hold a bit of intrigue for everybody, and they’re often misunderstood,” said Red Oak facility supervisor Margaret Gazdacka. “They’re actually pretty amazing creatures that play a huge role in nature.”

Red Oak will feature hourly presentations by bug videographer Tony Gustin, creator of the DVD “Who Wants To Be An Entomologist?” Also at Red Oak, Cosley Zoo will be on hand with a collection of live animals from 10 a.m. to noon at the “Predator Pavilion.”

At Lippold, Anderson Pest Control will return with its ever-popular insect zoo, and the Morton Arboretum will have information on Emerald Ash Borer beetles and the destruction they have wreaked in so many parks and neighborhoods.

For more information on Bug Fest, visit or call Red Oak at 630-897-1808.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sept: Free park district 7-day pass for fitness

AURORA – The Fox Valley Park District is running a “Fall into Fitness” promotion throughout the month of September by offering a free seven-day pass to any of the District’s three fitness centers.

New visitors who take advantage of the free week-long trial will learn about the many health benefits that result from being a fitness club member. The offer is available to guests age 16 and older.

A free seven-day pass can be redeemed at the Eola Community Center (555 S. Eola Road), Prisco Community Center (150 W. Illinois Ave.) and the Vaughan Athletic Center (2121 W. Indian Trail).

For more information, call any fitness center or visit the Park District website

Friday, August 19, 2011

Aug 27: Alley ART Festival

What: Alley ART Festival
When: Saturday, Aug. 27
Noon to 5 p.m.
Why: Art, music, food & fun for the whole family

Where: Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora between Galena and Downer, next to City Hall

Free activities: kids' tent, chalk art, tours of Riverfront Playhouse, hula hooping and more.

The second annual Alley Art Festival is not to miss! Walk, ride your bike or drive!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

*Sept 10: 65 Miles for Jerry

Following the death of Jerry Sondgeroth in August 2007, friends and family members held a "65 Miles for Jerry" bicycle ride to complete Jerry's goal of riding 3650 miles in 2007. Those who participated in the ride wished to make this an annual event and to invite others to join them. The fourth annual ride will be held on Saturday, September 10, 2011.

The 65 Miles for Jerry Bicycle Ride is sponsored by the Jerry A. Sondgeroth Educational Foundation, with proceeds to be used for the scholarship fund in Jerry's name at Aurora University (Illinois) and for educational opportunities for students in East Aurora (Illinois) School District #131.
Ride Details

Riders will be required to sign an accident waiver at the time of check-in. Riders under the age of 18 must have the approval of a parent or guardian, as indicated on the waiver. Insurance regulations require that riders age 18 and under must be accompanied by an adult.
Rest stops, water, snacks, food, sag support and emergency bike repair will be provided. Child care will also be available for ages 11 and under.

Rider registration and pre-registration check-in 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM. Route closes at 2:00 PM.
Bike helmets are required for all riders. Headphones are not permitted on the ride.
Advance registration is preferred, but registration will be open day of the ride.
The Routes

All routes depart from North City Park, Maple Park, IL
8mile route goes on lightly-traveled country roads and circles back to Maple Park.
33 mile route goes through LaFox, Elburn and Kaneville
65 mile route goes through Virgil, Burlington, Virgil, LaFox, Elburn and Kaneville.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Aug 12: Aurora History Society exhibit opens at the DLP

Creating Mexican American Identities: Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams

Join us for a special exhibit opening!

Friday, August 12th, 2011
5:00-7:00 pm
20 E. Downer Place ("the DLP")

We know immigration is a hot topic these days but little did we realize it could lead to record-breaking attendance at our museum exhibits! The Luxembourg exhibit closed just a few days ago and was a blockbuster success. We are proud to follow it up with “Creating Mexican American Identities: Multiple Voices, Shared Dreams”, curated by the West Chicago City Museum and the Aurora Historical Society/Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board and created with funding by the History Channel and the Illinois Humanities Council.

Aurora and West Chicago were early hubs for many Mexican immigrants who were recruited to work for the railroad in the 1920s and made their first homes in box car camps. Since early immigrants rarely have a tradition of written history, the Mexican American story has been recorded here through loaned and donated photographs and oral histories.

We all will find much to reflect upon here.

The exhibit opens on Friday, August 12, 2011 with a free reception from 5:00-7:00pm at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 East Downer Place. There will be food from local Oaxacan restaurant La Palapa, music and a cash bar.

This is also the closing day of the immensely popular gallery show on the third floor, “Warm Light, Cool Shadows – the Life and Art of Ruth Van Sickle Ford”, so you can catch both exhibits AND our Civil War exhibit before visiting Aurora’s up-and-coming Restaurant Row for dinner. Just a suggestion!

The Mexican immigration exhibit will be up through October 15. Museum hours are Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from Noon to 4:00pm. Admission is free, but donations are welcomed. See or call (630) 906-0650.

Looking ahead, when the weather turns colder, plan to visit the Tanner House at Oak and Cedar for a thought-provoking and chilling brush with Victorian death culture in the sequel to last autumn’s sellout success. This year’s tour is titled “Death Comes to the Tanner House: the Séance”. For a sunnier experience, visit the Tanner House in December for the annual décor blowout, the Designer Holiday Showcase. All details at, where there’s also a nice slideshow of the Civil War weekend this summer!

Please feel free to contact Events@aurorahistory.netor call Event Chair Mary Clark Ormond at 630-859-3292! Best for the rest of the summer!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Aug 20: Soul Fest in Aurora

The 34th Annual Soulfest and Black Business Expo will be held at May Street Park on Saturday, August 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with proceeds to benefit Citizens for Neighborhood Improvement (CFNI).

“We are pleased to present this annual event for the community,” said CFNI President Lillian Perry. “The events are a show of pride and accomplishment for the City of Aurora.”

The event showcases soul food, music games and prizes for children with a nominal fee of $12 meal ticket costs for adults and kids hot dog plates for $1.50. There is no admission fee for the Soulfest event which is presented in cooperation with the City of Aurora, State Representative Linda Chapa LaVia, Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce, Fox Valley Park District, CFNI Board, Paul and Bill’s Service Station and various other businesses and individuals.

“The Black Business Expo of the event is in conjunction with the Quad County African American Chamber of Commerce (QCAACC),” said Perry. “Booth space for businesses wanting to exhibit is available for a cost of $50.” To reserve space, businesses will need to submit $50 via check or money order payable to CFNI at 538 N. May Street, Aurora, IL 60506.

“We view our participation as an important aspect of serving our community and providing African American owned businesses the opportunity to market to an established base of support,” said Sanura Young, President of the QCAACC.

For tickets and additional information, contact Ms. Perry at (630) 896-5431.