Aurora Memorial Day Parade
Yesterday I attended the Memorial Day Parade in Downtown Aurora with my family and the day could not have been nicer! This is my first year attending this event and I can honestly say I will be back next year. The parade started at noon and made a box down Benton, over on 25 then back on Downer Place. The judges booth was located on Downer right across from the GAR Memorial Hall. My family and I arrived downtown early – right around 11AM and parked west of Rt. 31 and walked down New York into the downtown area. We walked over to the new Waubonsie Community College Downtown Campus to check out the building and landscaping around the river. Everything looks superb – check back for my insider’s report on the open house on June 3rd.
We walked over to the Aurora Sci-tech Museum to look at the recently repaired Swimming Stones kinetic water sculpture by Chris Tobin right across the street. There were lots of children enjoying the spraying water in the 90-degree heat. I thought that the grassy area near there would be an ideal place to watch the parade, but the lack of shade was an issue so we moved on looking for a better spot. I wanted to walk over to the GAR Hall to take a look at it and we passed by the Fox River – it’s definately at flood stage – so much so that the walkway under at least the Galena Blvd bridge was completely under water. We arrived at the GAR Memorial Hall and realized that was where the judges stand was. We joined a group of people on the grass in front of the hall and listened to the pre-parade program that included vocal performances by the Waubonsie Valley High School Varsity Choir as well as speeches by several veterans. We watched the parade from the front of the GAR Hall as the shade provided by the trees was a welcome relief to the sun (can’t complain too loudly – it was a beautiful clear day for a parade).
Right at noon the parade kicked off and being her first parade, our daughter really loved everything. She particularly enjoyed each of the 9 marching bands in attendence, the several squads of horses, the bagpipes and fire trucks. You could really tell the crowd was into everything especially when all of the East Aurora High School ROTC cadets passed by. It was also great to see Mayor Tom Weisner and quite a few of our aldermen taking part of the parade and then hanging around talking with residents afterwards. All said, it was a great day celebrating our veterans and our freedom here in the City of Aurora. Although a bit hot, you couldn’t have asked for better weather and it was great to see everyone downtown enjoying the day.