Monday, July 29, 2013

Aug 6: National Night Out Aurora, IL

Police and City officials are asking that community groups and other organizations that are planning events for National Night Out on August 6, to contact Aurora Police with their plans so that officials can visit as many gatherings as possible.

Contact should be made with either Aurora Police Sgt. Bill Rowley at (630) 256-5325 ( or Sgt. Jim Coursey at (630) 256-5124 (

This year’s National Night Out marks the 30th anniversary of the annual event that encourages citizens to lock their doors, turn on their outside lights, and spend the evening getting to know their neighbors and demonstrate a united front against crime, drugs, and violence.  Each year, Aurora Police officers and City staff members visit local National Night Out events that range from small gatherings to large neighborhood block parties.

Over 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide participated in National Night Out last year.

Aug. 4: Hymn Festival at Our Savior Lutheran in Aurora, IL

Hymn Festival, Sunday, August 4, 5:00 pm, Our Savior Lutheran Church, 420 W. Downer Place, Aurora, 630-897-5936, a unique concert designed to build up partnership with our community.  Renowned guest musicians and community choir. Free will offer will benefit Lifespring Ministry’s Kitchen Remodeling Project. Dinner will be served.

The afternoon will be filled with inspiration, excitement, and great joy with guest musicians: Simon Kyung Lee (performed at Carnegie Hall; has appeared as leading tenor with companies in US, Europe and Asia); Dorothy Shaw (has performed as a concertmaster and a soloist with Camerata Chicago; has appeared  in the movie "Home Alone II"); Fox Valley Woodwind Quintet; and Hephzibah Choir (Young Hee Chung: director).  

The Hymn Festival will include favorite hymns, patriotic songs, African American spirituals, and classic:"How Great Thou Art," "God Bless America," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "The Lord's Prayer," Handel's  "The Entrance of  the Queen of Sheba," "Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho," "You Raise Me Up," "The Prayer" etc.
The event is free of charge and open to the public as part of  Our Savior's Music Ministry Fine Arts Series.  Donations are gratefully accepted.  Proceeds from the donations will benefit the Lifespring Ministry's Kitchen Remodel Project.  Following the event, delicious dinner and refreshments will be served.  We hope that you and your friends can join us for a very special afternoon.

Aug. 10: Free School Supplies, Donations Needed at Greenman in Aurora, IL

AURORA, Ill.--Last year, hundreds lined up outside Aurora's Greenman Elementary School for the summer school-supply giveaway.
The event, Seeds for Success, started at 9 a.m. and went until about 10:30 a.m. when supplies were exhausted.
While 450 students and parents left with sacks of supplies, about 500 others were disappointed.
Rev. Deborah Tinsley Taylor, pastor of Fourth Street United Methodist Church, supply fair co-sponsor with Wesley UMC in Aurora, said volunteers want to serve all students in need.  
To make it happen, she said, organizers are making a push for donations--supplies or cash--before the seventh annual event, which is scheduled for 9 to 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at the school, 729 W. Galena Blvd., Aurora.
Donations will be accepted at Fourth Street UMC, 551 S. Fourth St. and Wesley UMC, 14 N. May St.
Checks can be sent to Fourth Street UMC office with Seeds for Success in the memo line.
Supplies needed are three-ring, 1-inch binder; pocket folders, yellow highlighters, washable color markers,  wide-ruled spisral bound notebooks or filler paper, pens, rulers, scissors (round tipped), pencils, pencil sharpeners, 24-count crayon boxes, erasers (Pink Pearl) glue sticks or bottles and supply boxes.
Volunteers will distribute supplies to students from kindergarten to 12th grade on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last.
To donate or for informatiion, call (630) 897-5257 or email

Aug. 9, 10, 11: Montgomery Fest 2013

The 2013 Montgomery Fest schedule is packed with a variety of fun activities and entertainment for all age groups. Whether you are a fan of live music, car shows, parades, carnivals, great food, fishing or fireworks, you will be delighted as you spend the weekend of August 9th to the 11th enjoying the festivities in downtown Montgomery.
Starting off Friday night is an all-new “Battle of the Bands” that begins at 5 pm featuring live music performed by local bands. Also new this year are $20 wristbands good for unlimited carnival rides from 6 pm to 10 pm on Friday only.
Saturday’s Main Stage will host the Blue Rock Inn Band performing at 11:30 am. Known for their unique arrangements of classic rock and blues, this band will get you in the groove for a great day. Next is a chance to scope out more local talent at 1 pm when “Montgomery’s Got Talent” hits the stage. Judge for yourself and expect to be impressed!
Other Saturday events include a Bike Safety Event at 10:30 am and Colonial’s Ice Cream Eating Contest (register at 11:30 am at Village Hall). You also won’t want to miss the annual Montgomery Fire Department Water Fights at 1:30 pm in front of the Village Hall.
Saturday’s entertainment continues at 3 pm on the Main Stage with “Cloggin’ Craze,” who always exude enthusiasm in this upbeat social dance style. At 4 pm one of Chicagoland’s premiere rock band, “Urban Sprawl” will bring their high energy mix of rock, country, pop, and blues. The day of great music wraps up with “EVOLUTION’ performing at 8 pm. This popular band features the original members of Hi-Infidelity. With music ranging from classic to current rock sounds, these fun musicians energize their listeners. Known for being one of the suburb’s best new cover bands, you can rock on with cover songs from favorites including Bon Jovi, REO, Styx, and Journey.
The range of events on Sunday is sure to please every family. From the Family Fun Carp Fishing Derby to the Car and Motorcycle Show (in Austin Park), to the Kid’s Bike Parade at 11 am in front of the Village Hall, you will find an activity for everyone. The Montgomery Fest Parade begins at 1 pm on Sunday at Webster and Mill Street, continuing south to Watkins, over to River Street and back up to Mill.
A highlight of Sunday’s entertainment will be the world famous Division BMX Stunt Team, with performances at 3 and 5 pm in front of the Village Hall.  The Division BMX Stunt Team knows how to entertain and keep an audience on their edge of their seats.  Watch in awe as stunt riders perform tricks at heights reaching over 25 feet above the ground!
Sunday’s Main Stage will host a church service at 10:00 a.m. followed by the musical talents of Woody James at 11 am and the Ronald McDonald Magic Show at noon.  In the afternoon the Waubonsee Steel Drum Band at 2 pm and the “Legacy Girls” at 4 pm will keep everyone entertained.  The evening continues at 6 pm with “Billy Croft & The 5 Alarm” playing lively country music, followed by fireworks at 9 pm
Of course, Montgomery Fest always includes everyone’s favorites:  the carnival, food vendors, craft and vendor booths, free pony rides and petting zoo.  Community Christian Church will host a family tent offering diaper changing and rest areas, free water and freeze pops.  Free shuttle bus service will be provided to downtown Montgomery on Saturday and Sunday from Lakewood Creek Elementary School and from the parking lot in front of Poor Boy’s on Montgomery Road near Douglas.  Busses will run about every half hour from 11 am until about 10 pm.  It all adds up to a fantastic weekend you won’t want to miss!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

July 27: LEGO bricks at Aurora Public Library

Chicago Area LEGO Users Group to display at Aurora Public Library

AURORA – Members of the Chicago Area LEGO Users Group will display their creations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, July 27
 at the Main Aurora Public Library, 1 E. Benton St.

All ages are welcome. There is no registration and the event is free.

John Thornton of Lombard, president and founding member of the Chicago Area LEGO Users Group (ChiLUG), said he started building with LEGO bricks about 40 years ago, when he was 6. Today, he is a safety director for an engineering consulting firm.

This will be the second time the group has visited the Main Library. In May, members gave a presentation to the library’s LEGO Club before the kids dug in and began building.

The LEGO Users Group was formed in early 2012 and immediately began visiting hospitals and libraries to bring the joy of LEGO building to children.

“A lot of guys have normal day jobs, but had built things and didn’t throw them away or sell them at garage sales. They have their creations at home and decided to get them out,” Thornton said. 
Thornton builds ships and vehicles. Another member of the group builds trains, and one concentrates on sculptures.

Kids and their parents might see the following creations on display at the library on July 27: an octopus; HALO video game paraphernalia; a steam shovel based on the children’s book “Are you my Mother?” by P.D. Eastman; spaceships; ice-like landscapes; a slot machine; and trucks and Trons.

“Libraries are a perfect spot for us to display, especially since Aurora Public Library has a LEGO builder’s club,” Thornton said. “My motto is: ‘Everything to keep the television off. When kids can use their imaginations and fine motor skills, there is nothing better than that in my book.

“I always encourage reading as well. To me, it’s a win-win. Get kids off the couch. Pour the LEGOs on the floor or crack open a book and enjoy that. Get away from the electronic wizardry that has permeated their lives.”

For more information, call the library at 630-264-4123 or go to ChiLUG’s website:  ttp://

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

July 11: Jericho Circle in Aurora Public Meeting on Future Property Use

The Aurora Housing Authority and City of Aurora have jointly enlisted the assistance of two of the most well-respected, regional planning groups, the Urban Land Institute (ULI - Chicago) and the Metropolitan Planning Council (MPC) in order to answer the question of what should be done with the Jericho Circle property.

Working together on this question for the first time, both City and AHA staff has been preparing to host a “Technical Advisory Panel,” (TAP) assembled by ULI Chicago and MPC. TAPs are two-day intensive working sessions with a team of regional and national interdisciplinary experts in the development industry who volunteer their time to study and produce recommendations to solve a land use challenge. Recommendations will focus on the future of the Jericho Circle site as well as general housing strategies for the future. In this instance, several of the experts participating in the two-day panel have extensive background in dealing with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) since HUD will only approve a land use change under very specific conditions.

In order to assure that the panels’ recommendations are also well-informed by local input, panelists will be hosting focus group and stakeholder interviews as well as a roundtable community reception from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., this Thursday evening, July 11, in the Multi-Purpose Room at Waubonsee Community College’s downtown campus, 18 S. River St. The public is invited to attend, but is asked to please RSVP so that event coordinators can plan for the correct number of residents in attendance. City residents can RSVP for the roundtable reception by calling 773-549-4972 or by emailing Cindy McSherry at

“It is important to the community to answer the question as to the type of use that actually makes sense for the former Jericho Circle site,” said Aurora Mayor Tom Weisner. “It’s good to finally have an Aurora Housing Authority administration interested in working together with the City to jointly answer questions about our community’s future.”

The community reception will give residents an opportunity to have input with respect to the panel’s recommendations, but there will also be a public presentation of the panel’s report within two months. Residents will have additional opportunities for input once the recommendations are received since the implementation of most recommendations would require City Council and/or Aurora Housing Authority (AHA) Board approval.

Keith Gregory, AHA Executive Director, added, “We are excited about having the opportunity to utilize the recommendations that come from this Panel to help guide the implementation of our new strategic plan, which focuses on being more transparent in our interactions with the community and improving collaboration with the City in our decision making.” 

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

July 4: Fourth of July Fun at Aurora Historical Society's Tanner Museum

Aurora, Ill. -- John F. Kennedy proclaimed "Let's ring freedom bells!" in 1963 and what should have become a national movement to help celebrate the Fourth of July was launched and then more or less forgotten.  But not in Aurora, Illinois.  The Aurora Historical Society has been ringing their two historic bells since 1967, and calling on the children of the city to do the honors.

The 1869 Center School bell and the 1918 Liberty Bell replica commemorating the end of World War I grace the grounds of the Tanner House Museum all year long, but just once a year, on July 4, the historians there hang the clappers, line up dozens of children on each of the 4 ropes and precisely at 1:00pm Central Daylight Time, have them pull away for two minutes of joyful cacophony.

"The sight of all those children, and the sounds of the bells, are one of the highlights of my entire year," said Mary Clark Ormond, historical society president.  "This is the 50th anniversary of the Congressional resolution to ring bells, and Aurora should be very proud to claim such a long tradition."

The annual picnic and Ringing of the Bells is at the Tanner House Museum, 304 Oak Avenue, Aurora, IL  60506, from 11am to 3pm.  It is free.  Other offerings at the event are live music, a petting zoo, the Windy City Wizard magician, horse-drawn wagon rides and free tours of the Tanner House.  Hot dogs, old-fashioned sodas and ice cream are available at a nominal charge. for more information.