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Neighbors of Kane County

City of Aurora Receives State Grant to Make RiverEdge Park More Accessible for People with Disabilities

Jun 21, 2019 01:30PM ● By Hannah Ott

People with disabilities will find easier access to the many events at Aurora’s RiverEdge Park this season thanks to a grant from the Illinois Office of Tourism. (Image source: riveredgeaurora.com)

Aurora - People with disabilities will find easier access to the many events at Aurora’s RiverEdge Park this season.

The Illinois Office of Tourism provided a Tourism Attraction Program Grant of $43,131 to the City of Aurora to assist in making RiverEdge Park more accessible to those with special needs.

With the grant, the City made improvements to the handicapped entrance to RiverEdge, improved the seating for those using wheelchairs and almost double the number of handicapped parking spaces available for activities at the park.

In addition, the grant also allowed the park to provide handicapped-accessible, large golf cars to safely shuttle patrons with disabilities from the parking area on the east side of Broadway to the RiverEdge entrance on the west side. The ADA-certified accessible golf cars will transport people who use wheelchairs, crutches, canes or have other infirmities from the parking area to the concert venue.

“The community spoke and we listened,” said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. “After hearing from people with disabilities about ways we can improve access throughout the city, including RiverEdge Park, we researched solutions and applied for the grant. These enhancements will be very much appreciated by all.”

The City will provide matching funds for the improvements at the handicapped entrance, Gate 2, at the northern end of the park along Broadway. Enhancements to the infrastructure include modifications of existing curbs and sidewalks to accommodate the ADA-accessible transport vehicles, and improvements to the physical gate to provide easy and secure access to guests that require wheelchair or other assistance. 

RiverEdge Park will also double the amount of its ADA platforms from which patrons with disabilities can enjoy the concerts and other activities without getting caught up in the bustle of the concert crowd. There also will be one companion seat for every ADA space.

“Both the City’s and our goal is to always make the arts accessible to everyone,” said Tim Rater, President & CEO of the Paramount. “The Park has been fully ADA accessible since it opened its doors, but this generous grant will allow us to further enhance the experience of those patrons with disabilities. We’re very grateful to the Illinois Office of Tourism for this support.”

Work on the projects began this month and will continue until all improvements are completed.

Upcoming shows at RiverEdge include 80's on the Fox, June 29; Fourth of July Celebration, June 4; Dark Star Orchestra, July 5; The Royal Affair Tour of British Rock, July 6; and American English Beatles Tribute, July 12. Learn about more upcoming events and purchase tickets at riveredgeaurora.com or 630-896-6666. You can also visit the RiverEdge Park Remote Box Office at Paramount Theatre at 23 E. Galena Blvd., Aurora.


Source: City of Aurora at myaurora@aurora-il.org