Thursday, June 27, 2013

July 1: Downtown Auroran Magazine Summer Release Party

AURORA, Ill.(June 27, 2013) - Downtown Auroran Magazine, a local arts and culture magazine, is releasing its summer issue on July 1. The summer issue focuses on bicycling in Aurora and is called “The Bicycle Issue.”

The magazine invites the public to pick up a copy of the new issue from 5 to 7 p.m. on Monday, July 1 at Culture Stock Bookstore, 43 E. Galena Blvd. in downtown Aurora.

If attendees bicycle to the magazine release party, then they will receive half-off of any book purchased that evening. Dan Becker, of Dan Becker and the Tourists, will also perform for free at 6 p.m.

Downtown Auroran Magazine is a free magazine featuring art, poetry, short stories, recipes, comics, a list of cultural events, and more. The magazine is published locally and distributed at small businesses in the Fox Valley area.  

For more information, visit or find Downtown Auroran Magazine on Facebook.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Tips to Prevent Home Burglaries

Aurora, IL - The very warm temperatures and dry conditions expected over the next several days have prompted Aurora Police to issue prevention steps the community can take to help guard against home and vehicle burglaries.
As summer temperatures take hold, it is not unusual for police to see increased instances of residential burglaries where the entry point of the burglar is open or unlocked windows.  To reduce these types of crimes, Aurora Police remind residents to make sure windows and doors are always shut and locked every time they leave their homes. They add that the use of proper lighting, such as motion sensor lights, also go a long way in preventing burglaries.
In addition, experts recommend 3-inch screws, at minimum, are used to mount strike plates onto door frames rather than the 1 ½ inch screws that come standard with lock sets.  Since the longer screws actually anchor into the supporting frame and studs behind the door frame, doors are much more difficult to kick-in by a would-be burglar.
Police are continuing to remind motorists of the importance of hiding anything of value in vehicles such as cell phones, laptops, wallets, and other property; and to makes sure vehicle doors are locked and windows are closed.  When thieves see these items in plain view it takes them only seconds to break a window or open an unlocked door and steal the property.
Residents are also asked to immediately call 911 if they see anything suspicious in their neighborhoods.
Aurora residents should take advantage of the free online service known as “Report It” which allows them to record serial numbers and upload images of jewelry, electronics, antiques, and other valuables into a central data base that will help police locate the items if they are ever lost or stolen.  An unlimited amount of records can be stored and can also include item descriptions and scans of receipts so they can be easily identified. The records likewise come in handy when filing claims with insurance providers in the event of a loss.  Citizens interested in the service can log onto to begin building their personal property list.
The service is offered through Leads Online which is used by Aurora Police to help them track goods being sold through recycling, pawn, and similar businesses.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

July 4: Fourth of July FIREWORKS in Aurora, IL

The City of Aurora will be painted red, white and blue on July 4 and will celebrate the nation’s independence with a full day of family fun including a parade, live music, local food vendors, children’s activities, and the region’s most dynamic fireworks display--- all taking place in the downtown.

The day will start with a patriotic pre-parade ceremony at 9:15 a.m. at the parade reviewing stand, outside the Paramount Theater, 23 E. Galena Boulevard. The Independence Day Parade, presented in partnership with the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84, will step off at 10 a.m. at the corner of Benton and River Streets.  It will travel east to Broadway Avenue, north to Galena, west to Stolp Avenue, south to Downer Place, then west on Downer and conclude at River Street.

Groups scheduled to march in this year’s parade include the Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84 band, East Aurora Summer Camp Band, West Aurora Marching Band, Waubonsee Steel Drum Band, Oswego Step Team “Divas and Gents”, Aurora Central Catholic High School cheer squad, and many other community organizations including local veteran groups and scout troops.

The City and American Legion Post 84 are inviting Korean War veterans and their families to view the parade from the reviewing stand, or the tent adjacent to the reviewing stand, in remembrance of the 60thAnniversary of the Korean War.  Interested parties should call Aurora’s Special Events Division at (630) 256-3370 to reserve a seat.

Longtime Aurora residents and community volunteers Tom and Lynda Elmore have been named parade Grand Marshals.

West Aurora High School senior Alyssa DeBolt will be recognized during the parade for her winning poster design that was used to publicize the event in various print and online media in a competition staged by Legion Post 84. Alyssa will be receiving a Kindle Fire for her creativity and artwork. Also receiving prizes for their runner-up entries will be Alyssa Johansen, from O’Donnell School and Rosa Nevarez, a senior at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.

Free parking for the parade will be available at all downtown parking lots as well as the Stolp Island Parking Deck at Stolp and Downer.  Parking in the deck will be accessible until 9:50 a.m., and no vehicles will be allowed to exit until after the parade.  A complete list of parking lots can be viewed on the City’s website and clicking on the downtown parking information icon on the homepage.

Motorists are advised that portions of the parade route will be closing at 8:30 a.m.  No street parking will be permitted on Galena from Lake Street to Broadway; Downer from Lake to Stolp; Benton from Lake to Broadway; River from Gale Street to Galena; and Middle Avenue, from Cross Street to Downer.  In addition, Hoyt Place will close to thru traffic. 

The holiday will culminate with huge celebrations at three different downtown locations beginning at 5 p.m., before the City’s fireworks extravaganza at 9:30.  All three locations: RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway; Wilder Promenade, 350 N. River; and McCullough Park, Illinois Avenue at Lake Street; will feature differently-themed, free, family-fun events and activities including live music and wide array of local food vendors.  They will also be perfect locations to view the fireworks which are returning to downtown for the first time in approximately 10 years.

“Fourth on the Fox”, presented at RiverEdge Park, will feature Bruce in the USA, one of the premiere Bruce Springsteen tribute bands in the nation, at 5:30 p.m., followed by a mix of patriotic music and classical favorites performed by the Fox Valley Orchestra at 8:15.

Wilder Promenade will be the scene of “Family Fourth” and will feature inflatable rides and other children’s attractions along with musical entertainment by DJ Jerome.

At McCullough Park, the Aurora Historical Society is presenting “Hometown Fourth” featuring music from acoustic ensemble Hudson Crossing, Aurora-inspired tunes performed by the Bradley Keven Green Family Band, patriotic songs by the American Legion Band, and classic rock courtesy of Captains of Industry.  In addition, magician Windy City Wizard will make an appearance along with games and stories dating back hundreds of years.

The three locations are within walking distance of each other which makes visiting each venue easy and convenient for patrons.  In addition, the City is offering free park and ride shuttle service from 6 to 9 p.m.providing roundtrip transportation at numerous locations.  The shuttles will resume service after the fireworks display with the latest departure scheduled for 11 p.m. The park and ride locations include:

Blue Route
·         La Sierra de Aurora, 2121 E. New York St.
·         Carquest Auto Parts, 3 N. Smith St.
·         Main Baptist Church, 814 E. Galena (Parking only. Patrons should catch the shuttle across the street at Carquest)

Orange Route
·         St. Athanasios Church, 1855 E. Fifth Av.
·         East Aurora High School, 500 Tomcat Ln.

Red Route
·         Luigi’s Pizza, 732 N. Prairie St.
·         West Aurora High School, 1201 W. New York St.

Pink Route
·         Northgate Shopping Center, 850 N. Lake St. (Dedicated shuttle that will run only between Northgate and McCullough Park)

Green Route
·         Presence Mercy Medical Center, 1325 N. Highland Av.
·         Cermack’s Supermarket, 1250 N. Lake St.

Gold Route
·         Aurora Police Department, 1200 E. Indian Tr.
·         Indian Trail Shopping Plaza & Business Center, 254-302 E. Indian Tr.

Purple Route
·         AMF Valley Bowling Center (former site), 310 S. Lincolnway Av., North Aurora

In addition, free parking will be offered at all downtown municipal lots including the Aurora Transportation Center and the lots along River Street.

The City of Lights will live up to its name at 9:30 p.m., with the launching of a bigger-than-ever fireworks display.  The City has chosen a new vendor, Melrose Pyrotechnics, to conduct the show.  The company, based in Kingsbury, IN, has won numerous awards in pyrotechnics competitions staged around the world including Japan, Viet Nam, China, Canada, and scores of others.

The family activities and fireworks are co-sponsored by the City of Aurora, Village of North Aurora, RiverEdge Park, the Fox Valley Park District, Aurora Historical Society and HR Green. 

More information on Aurora’s Independence Day festivities is available on the City’s website at or by calling the Customer Service Division at (630) 256-INFO (4636).

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Summer 2013: Aurora Free Movies in the Park at Phillips Park

Families looking for affordable entertainment this summer can take advantage of free movie nights starting June 22 at Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive.

“Movies in the Park” features Hollywood-hit films on an outdoor big screen on select Saturday nights during the summer.  Family-fun games, contests, and other pre-event activities will be held at 8 p.m., and the movies will start 30 minutes after sunset, which is between 9 and 9:15 p.m.

This season’s movie schedule includes:
·         June 22 Rise of the Guardians (PG)
·         July 6   Dolphin Tale (PG)
·         July 20   Wreck- It- Ralph (PG)
·         August 3  The Avengers (PG-13)

Movies will be shown on the big screen adjacent to the sledding hill and the skate/BMX park.  Patrons should bring their own chairs, blankets and bug spray.  The concession stand will be open, and parking is available at the Phillips Park Aquatic Center, 828 Montgomery Road. 

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

June 8: Fun, Free & Family Day on Water and on Land in Aurora, IL

Five free, family-fun events encompassing a variety of tastes are on tap this weekend in Illinois’ second largest City.

The day begins at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 8 with the weekly downtown Aurora’s Farmers Market at the Aurora Transportation Center, 233 N. Broadway Av.  The market, which will be held every Saturday through Oct. 19 and running until noon each day, is celebrating its 101st anniversary and is the oldest Farmers Market in Illinois.  Farm-fresh produce, a variety of flowers, gourmet wines and cheeses, free knife sharpening services and much more will be offered at the market.

In addition, the Northern Illinois University School of Family, Consumer, and Nutrition Sciences will be on hand to offer food demonstrations and samples of in-season local produce, Presence Mercy Medical Center will be offering free blood pressure and diabetes risk factor screenings and Journey Cycle and BMX will be providing free bicycle checkups.

Once again this year, Illinois electronic benefits transfer (EBT) link cards will be accepted for purchases.  The market is presented in association with contributing sponsor AT&T U-Verse. More information about the Farmers Market, including two additional markets opening in July on the City’s Far East and West sides, is at

At 9 a.m., the Louche Puce Market, an outdoor European-style vintage and collectible fair, returns to downtown Aurora on the Water Street Mall located between Galena Boulevard and Downer Place.  Patrons can re-purpose an eclectic mix of antiques, retro-furniture, vintage fashion and more until 4 p.m.  The market will be held the second Saturday of each month through September.  For more information, contact Jeannie Norris at

The Aurora Green Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 8 at the Fox Valley Park District’s Prisco Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave.  The event, which will highlight the latest environmental ideas and technology, will feature more than 50 eco-friendly exhibits and speakers featuring environmental services, money-saving tips, on-site recycling of everything from electronics to old and unwanted medications, hands-on children’s activities, and more. The event is sponsored by the Aurora Green Lights in affiliation with the Conservation Foundation.  For more information on the festival and the organization, visit

Saturday also marks the first day of both the Aurora Paddlesports Festival and Art in the Park at Phillips Park, 1000 Ray Moses Drive.

The Paddlesports festival is a two-day canoeing and kayaking festival that will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. June 8 and 9 on Mastodon Lake inside Phillips Park.  Patrons can take check out plenty of activities both on water and land for beginners and experts, including free boating lessons, vendor demonstrations and skill competitions. The fifth annual festival is being presented by the Illinois Paddling Council in partnership with the City of Aurora.  For more information, visit

After taking a ride on the lake, patrons can stake claim to more land-based activities with Art in the Park from noon to 5 p.m. June 8 and 9.  The second annual event will feature live music, an art sale and show, and refreshments for purchase including a wine tasting at the west end of Phillips Park.