As the State of Illinois prepares to enter Phase 5 of the Restore Illinois Plan on June 11, the City of Aurora is planning to launch its reopening events on the same day.
Mayor Richard C. Irvin unveiled yesterday during a press conference parts of the Activate Aurora Reopening Plan, including a series of activities in June and additional events throughout the summer.
“As the Bridge Phase for Illinois closes, a new bridge phase in Aurora will open," said Mayor Irvin referencing the State's current Bridge to Phase 5 designation set to end in two weeks. "On June 11, we'll have the official grand opening of the new downtown pedestrian bridge to kick off the reopening of our city."
The Activate Aurora Reopening Weekend will feature a series of celebrations beginning at 11 a.m. on Friday, June 11 with the opening of the pedestrian bridge, and continuing at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 12 with the opening ceremony for the 109th season of the Aurora Farmers Market; 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 13 with the reopening of Phillips Park Zoo and all parks in Aurora; and on Monday, June 14 with the full reopening of Aurora City Hall to the public.
Aurora’s plans are in alignment with the State of Illinois and contingent upon the State meeting the metrics outlined by the Illinois Department of Public Health, including a continued decline in new Covid cases, hospital admissions, hospitalizations, and mortality rates.
Mayor Irvin encouraged Aurorans to continue getting vaccinated to strengthen the health of individuals, families, and the entire community.
“We know that vaccines do work,' said Mayor Irvin, who was vaccinated during a public event in April. "We must continue to focus on increasing our vaccination rates these next two weeks and well into the summer.”
Another weekend of activities set to usher in a full reopening will be held next month for the Fourth of July, including plans for fireworks and the highly anticipated Fourth of July parade.
“We are excited that the Fourth of July parade will be back in downtown Aurora for the first time in two years," Mayor Irvin announced. "This summer, we can see the return of not only parades, but also neighborhood festivals, community events like First Fridays and National Night Out, concerts at RiverEdge Park, and musicals at the Paramount Theatre."
Jim Jarvis, Vice President of the Aurora Civic Center Authority which manages the Paramount Theatre and RiverEdge Park, joined Mayor Irvin at the press conference to announce reopening activities for the popular downtown venues.
"It's exciting that we're finally getting back to doing what we love," said Jarvis who highlighted activities for Pride Weekend, summer camps for youth, and the return of concerts and musicals. "We are making announcements this week and next week about major concerts coming to RiverEdge Park this summer. We are also thrilled to reopen the Paramount Theatre in August. It will be an emotional experience for all of us."
The Fox Valley Park District, Aurora Downtown, the Venue, and other organizations have recently announced reopening plans and events scheduled throughout the summer.
“Aurorans always comes together to do what is best for our city,” said Mayor Irvin. “I sincerely thank our community for getting us to this point. Let's keep up the fight for our family, for our friends, and for a fun summer on the horizon. Let’s activate Aurora.”