North Aurora Days 2018
Jul 02, 2018 08:30AM
● By Ben Scott
The 2018 North Aurora Days is scheduled for the weekend of August 3rd, 4th and 5th, a much-anticipated event which promises to continue the decades-long tradition of providing fun-filled activities and entertainment for the whole family.
“North Aurora Days takes place at several spots around town,” said Trustee Mark Gaffino, Chairman of the North Aurora Days Committee. “It’s a family-friendly event that brings neighborhoods together. A lot of times you see people once a year and it’s at this event.”
North Aurora Days kicks off Thurs., Aug. 2 with the North Aurora Community Garage Sale; all North Aurora residents are invited to hold a garage sale Thursday, Friday and Saturday that will be advertised on the North Aurora Days website (northauroradays.org), the Village’s Facebook page and in a local newspaper. A garage sale registration form is required for residents who would like their addresses printed on the Garage Sale map, which will be made available for public distribution (northauroradays.org/events/garage-sale/ ).
Likewise, on Fri., Aug. 3, the Friends of the Messenger Library Book Sale begins at 9am and continues all weekend long.
“The Library staff and volunteers will be coordinating the Book Sale this year,” said Library Administrator Kevin Davis. “We will feature hundreds of used books and DVDs for all ages during our three day sale. It has always been a well-attended community event. Our prices are affordable – $0.50 cents for paperbacks and $1.00 for hardcovers and DVDs. Most everyone finds something they were looking for.”
On Friday night, the Emergency Vehicle Lights and Sirens Parade starts at 6:30pm, a procession which includes cars and trucks from local emergency agencies and local collectors. The parade lines up on Airport Rd., winding its way northwest towards the main event site at Clock Tower Plaza where 4–5,000 people are speculated to gather each night during North Aurora Days.
“The fun is located near the corner of Oak St. and Randall Rd. in North Aurora,” explained North Aurora Days volunteer Jessi Watkins. “There is parking available at Blessed Sacrament Church (801 Oak St.). Rides are available 5–10:30pm on Friday and 2–10:30pm on Saturday, with unlimited ride wrist bands available 2–6pm on Saturday during Family Fun Time.”
Watkins got involved with North Aurora Days ten years ago because of her desire to be actively involved in her community.
“I have been volunteering in various capacities for a decade,” Watkins said. “I began with the North Aurora Mothers Club who, alongside the North Aurora Lions club, hosts the beer tent annually.”
Watkins is responsible for the entertainment at the event, a role which primarily involves overseeing the carnival and amusement rides.
“This year we will have a swing ride, ‘tubs of fun’ – which is reminiscent of a tilt-a-whirl type ride, a 20’ inflatable slide, ‘walk on water’ in which participants walk along the surface of a pool while inside inflatable balls, a rock climbing wall, bounce houses and ‘eurobungy’,” said Watkins. “During our Family Fun Time on Saturday, unlimited ride wrist bands will be available for $15, during which time we will have face painters and balloon artists available along with a few fun, interactive amusements. We will also have a Velcro wall, gladiator joust, and you can come test your balance and endurance on ‘rock-n-roll’!”
Additionally, local bands will perform at Clock Tower Plaza on Friday and Saturday night; check out ‘Whiskey Romance’ and ‘Libido Funk Circus’ on Friday and ‘28 Days’ and ‘Spazmatics’ on Saturday (see Spotlight on pg. __ for the complete North Aurora Days music lineup). Various local food vendors and restaurants will also set up shop—grab a burger from North Aurora’s Oak Street Restaurant and indulge in deep-fried carnival fare at Susie’s Fun Foods.
Then on Sat., Aug. 4 the activities start early with the 5k/10k and 1 mile Run for the Riverfront through the beautiful Mooseheart campus around the community’s scenic lake. This event acts as a fundraiser for the North Aurora River District Alliance (NOARDA) and the West Aurora High School Cross Country Team. Race registration and information is available at runfortheriverfront.com.
Other Saturday events include the co-ed Softball Tourney at Goodwin South Field and Fern West Field, the 8th annual Kids Fishing Derby at Willow Lake (open to children age 15 and under – no advance registration required) and the Kids Safety Day and Touch a Truck event at Mooseheart.
“Kids Safety Day is put on by the Kane County Safety Coalition. It used to be geared towards the safety of children, now it’s for any age,” said North Aurora Police Officer Robyn Stecklein. “There’s bike safety, fire safety, poison safety and we do child IDs for free. The North Aurora Fire Department usually brings a fire truck and ambulance and we have a touch-a-truck outside.”
Indeed, over 50 agencies participate in this educational and entertaining event where kids of all ages can come watch exciting fire and rescue demonstrations and mingle with emergency crews. With interactive safety booths and take-home prizes, you won’t leave this event empty handed.
In the same vein of health and wellness, the Messenger Public Library will host the North Aurora Lions Club and Illinois Lions Foundation free hearing screenings from 9am–12pm on Saturday. The screening will be staffed by a trained technician and take place in a testing vehicle setup on the west side of the library in front of the west side book return turnaround driveway.
Sun., Aug. 5 continues the tradition of the North Aurora Days Pet Parade, an annual event started by local Veterinarian Thomas Brook s of Fox Valley Veterinary Clinic. After the line-up and judging (26 trophies are awarded in 16 categories, plus 10 wildcard categories), the Pet Parade leaves from the corner of Rt. 31 and Rt. 56 and heads across the bridge to Riverfront Park promptly at 12pm. Judging is limited to the first 100 registrants, who will receive a goody bag, refreshments, a participant ribbon and a certificate.
“This will be the 36th annual North Aurora Pet Parade, and we would love to have our event be part of your day,” Brooks said. “There is no cost to enter – we want to make this a fun day for pets, pet-owners and spectators.”
Finally, North Aurora Days concludes with the second annual North Aurora Riverfront Park ‘Party in the Park,’ featuring a margarita-fest, local food trucks and area musicians. North Aurora native Ali Morgan will perform at 2pm – Morgan wrote her first song in Kindergarten and landed her first record deal with Nashville-based label Silverado Records at age 13 – followed by the high-energy Chicago based ‘Semple Band’ who will close out the afternoon from 4–6pm.
With so much entertainment and events for all ages spread out across town, it’s no wonder North Aurora Days has remained a popular and well-attended event for over 30 years.
“It’s a good time,” Gaffino stated simply. “You walk through and you know everybody. I’ve seen people that moved out of the area and come back for North Aurora Days. We’re proud of our community so we like to show it off.”
“The fusion of so many individuals, non-for-profit groups and businesses coming together produces an event that is centered on reinforcing our community values,” added Watkins. “The goal of the event is to bring all of North Aurora together for an inexpensive, family-friendly good time. This event demonstrates the heart of North Aurora as evidenced by the plethora of volunteers that work diligently each year to make the event a success.”
Anyone who wants to get involved with this year’s event can visit the North Aurora Days website at northauroradays.org/volunteer. Assistance is needed with the Run for the Riverfront event, cleanup, parking and with other event activities. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org to request more information on how you can be part of the festivities. Join your friends, bring your family and don’t miss the 2018 North Aurora Days!