Friday, December 14, 2012

Dec. 14: Winter Garden of Youth at The DLP

Aurora students with a flair for creativity will have their work highlighted in the Aurora Public Art Commission’s 15th annual “Winter Garden of Youth Art.”

Children from kindergarten through high school will have their artwork showcased from Friday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Jan. 25 at the Art Commission Gallery at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Place.  The exhibit will kick-off with an opening reception scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. Dec. 14.

The presentation features a total of 125 pieces of art from 25 schools, including a variety of mediums such as paintings, drawings, printmaking, photography, sculpture, collage, computer arts, jewelry and ceramics.   All works in the display have been selected by art teachers or other school faculty members.

Participating schools in the “Winter Garden of Youth Art” are Allen, Annunciation, Bardwell, Beaupre, Brady, East Aurora High, Fox River Academy, Gates, Greenman, Hall, Hermes, Hope D. Wall, Jewel, Marmion Academy, McCleery, O’Donnell, Oak Park, Rosary High, Simmons, Smith, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Therese, Waldo, West Aurora High and Wright Home School.

Admission to the reception and gallery exhibit is free.  The gallery will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Dec. 14-15, 19-22, 26-29; and Jan. 2-4, 9-11 and 16-18 and 23-25.

The Aurora Public Art Commission is a civic organization dedicated to the preservation of public art in all of its forms.  For more information on the Commission or the gallery, visit the City of Aurora’s website at

Monday, December 10, 2012

12/12: Bridge Bash on Downer

Aurora is inviting the community to the “First Bash on the Bridge” ceremony slated for Dec. 12 at 3:30 p.m.

The event will feature Mayor Tom Weisner and other City, project, and business officials giving short presentations on the importance of the project to the downtown business district and community at large and explain how crews were able to complete the project in one construction season--- the only major bridge rebuild in Aurora history in such a short amount of time.  The aggressive construction schedule reduced by several months the inconvenience to downtown businesses, patrons, and the community than would have been experienced in the past.

The program will also feature entertainment from the Waubonsie Valley High School Step Team as well as what officials are terming “a few surprises”.

After the official ribbon cutting, antique vehicles will be the first to travel the eastbound lanes of the bridge.  The ceremony will culminate with everyone attending being included in the recreation of an historic 1909 photo from the archives of the Aurora Historical Society showing hundreds of people on the original downtown bridge during a GAR Encampment.

A post-event reception will be held at the River Edge CafĂ©, 14 W. Downer.  The David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer, will likewise be open. Parking will be available at the Stolp Avenue Parking Deck at Downer and Stolp.

Patrons attending the ceremony will also get their first look at the Downer Place streetscape project, which is aimed at enhancing the vitality of the downtown and reducing pollutants entering the Fox River. The project consists of the removal and replacement of the sidewalk and curb and gutter on both sides of Downer between the bridges.  Brick crosswalks have also been added.

Rain gardens are also being installed on the two south side corners of the Downer Place and Stolp Avenue intersection.  The rain gardens will remove pollutants from storm water by filtering the runoff through native plantings and engineered soils prior to finding its way into the Fox River.

The opening of the bridges signals the much anticipated traffic pattern changes in the downtown.  Both Downer Place and Benton Street, which has served as the detour route throughout the construction project, will permanently become two-way thoroughfares between Broadway Avenue (Route 25) and Lake Street (Route 31).

The changes also prompted the installation of traffic signal equipment at multiple intersections along Downer and Benton and four-way stop signs at the intersection of Downer and Stolp.

As part of scheduled changes involving downtown parking that will be implemented in 2013, parking meters along Benton and Downer between Broadway and Lake, will have been removed, and signage posted alerting downtown patrons that parking will be free on Downer and Benton for up to two hours through the end of this year.

Dec.: Tanner House Holidays

Tanner House Holidays
Aurora Historical Society – Tanner House Museum
Corner of Oak Avenue and Cedar Street  (304 Oak)
Saturdays and Sundays in December
1-4 pm
$5 adults, $4 students and seniors, children 12 and under free.  Members always free.

A spa for snowmen and an enchanted winter garden wedding are two of the themes used this year in the seasonal opening of the 1857 Tanner House Museum.  Fourteen designers contributed to the display, including the winners of last year’s Favorite Room contest, the Past and Present Shoppes of North Aurora.
Visitors will get a sneak peek at the restoration underway in the parlor, where the elaborate plasterwork has been reinstalled and painted.
The museum is open all Saturdays and Sundays in December from 1:00-4:00pm.  Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for students and seniors, and children 12 and under as well as members are free.   Visit or Facebook:  aurorahistory for more information or call             630-906-0650      .

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dec. 7 & 8: Freeman School's Holiday Shop

Aurora - For two days only, the gymnasium at Freeman Elementary School on Aurora’s West Side will turn into a makeshift holiday bazaar.

This year’s Holiday Shop at Freeman will include presents provided by Jenny’s Penguin Patch for family and friends, as well as beautiful homemade creations from local crafters including The Alexander Studio, Angelica Connolly, Mema & Bri, Unique, Handmade Jewelry by Susan, needle felting creations by Karen Nicholas, Pixie's Place, Cuddly Things & More, Joann Johnson, and PK Handmade.

There will also be a concession stand with holiday treats, a craft room for kids, and a wrapping room to bring home presents ready to go right under the tree. CDs will also be on sale from a local women’s singing group with all profits to be donated to the A+ Foundation benefiting West Aurora schools.

Freeman’s Holiday Shop is open from 4 to 7 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8. Freeman Elementary School is located at 153 S. Randall Rd. in the residential neighborhood between West Aurora High School and Aurora University.

If you are interested in volunteering or joining the craft show, please contact the 2012 Holiday Shop Co-chairs Susie Runge at or Carrie Jones at