Downtown Aurora loves events. In 2019, Aurora Downtown, the nonprofit of business and property owners that serves Special Service Area #One (SSA #One), brings you lots of fun events. The organization also partners with community organizations on several events throughout the year. Come visit us in downtown Aurora this year, and see what everyone is talking about.
1. First Fridays (Feb thru Dec)
First Fridays is a free, monthly night of arts and culture in downtown Aurora. Enjoy art openings, live music, family-friendly activities, trolley rides, and more. Hours: Varies. Trolley runs from 6 to 10 p.m. Feb through Dec. (No First Fridays in July.) Admission: Free unless noted.
2. Egg Hunt on the Island
All ages are invited to search for plastic eggs filled with treats in downtown Aurora. Free kid crafts, snacks, and trolley rides. Hours: 1 to 3 p.m. April 13, 2019. Admission: Free.
3. Fox River Arts Ramble (Partner Event)
Experience art from Aurora to Elgin. Visit participating galleries and enjoy an art-filled weekend in downtown Aurora and all along the Fox River. Hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April 13 & 14, 2019. Admission: Free.
4. Food Truck Festival
The 5th annual Food Truck Festival brings an abundance of local and regional food trucks to the monthly First Fridays art crawl for a night of food, art, and live music along Benton Street and Stolp Avenue. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. May 3, 2019. Admission: Free.
5. Aurora Pride Weekend (Partner Event)
Aurora’s first Pride Weekend kicks off with themed events during First Fridays, Out and About Downtown, and a Pride Market on Saturday from noon to 5 p.m., and a parade on Sunday. Visit the website for more info on a 5K and more.
Dates: June 7-9, 2019. Admission: Free.
6. Wednesdays at the Plaza
Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave.
A free summer series featuring a new, community performance every week including poetry, live music, dancing, yoga, jazz, and more. Hours: 6 to 8 p.m. Dates: June 12 to Aug 14, 2019 (No event on July 3.) Admission: Free.
7. Aurora Museums After Dark
Aurora Regional Fire Museum, SciTech Hands On Museum, G.A.R. Museum, David L. Pierce Art and History Center, and Santori Public Library stay open for an extra few hours for families to enjoy. Hours: 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays: June 13; July 11; Aug 8, 2019. Admission: Free.
8. Downtown Taste
Sample Aurora’s diverse culinary offerings at the 17th annual Downtown Taste benefiting the Exchange Club of Aurora. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. July 30, 2019. Admission: $30/Ticket Book
9. Stolp Island Block Party
Stolp Avenue and Millennium Plaza, 21 S. Stolp Ave.
The party goes outside during First Fridays with live music, food vendors, family-friendly activities, and live art. Hours: 5 to 10 p.m. Aug. 2, see website for schedule. Admission: Free.
10. Alley Art Festival
Water Street Mall
Local artists converge on Water Street Mall in downtown Aurora and engage passerby with their art, craft, talent, and more. Over 60 artists display their wares, food is available for purchase, and events include free yoga, a creative children’s booth, and live music. Hours: Noon to 5 p.m. Aug. 31, 2019, see website for schedule. Admission: Free.
11. Roots Aurora (Partner Event)
Water Street Mall
A multicultural festival featuring a talent show, live music, performances, food vendors, family-friendly activities and more. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Sept. 6, 2019. Admission: Free.
12. Trick or Treat in Downtown
All ages are invited to dress up in costume and visit dozens of participating businesses and museums for treats. Hours: Noon to 3 p.m. Oct. 26, 2019. Admission: Free.
13. First Fridays: Day of the Dead (Partner Event)
Celebrate Dia de los Muertos with authentic food, dancing, Mexican altars, and tradition during November’s First Fridays. Hours: 4 to 9 p.m. Nov. 1, 2019. Admission: Free.
14. First Fridays: Cocoa Crawl
Celebrate the winter season with some toasty hot cocoa as several participating venues fill up your custom mug. Hours: TBA; Dec 6, 2019. Admission: TBA
There are lots more events, too! The city’s Special Events office puts on parades for Memorial Day, Fourth of July, and Veterans Day. Individual downtown museums are packed with events, as are many downtown restaurants and coffee shops. As several events are added throughout the year, please check the calendar on our website for upcoming downtown events.
Photo by James Cardis/Courtesy AACVB