As a way to stay engaged during the pandemic, the City of Aurora got creative. Instead of a parade that people attended, they brought the parade to people’s doorsteps by forming a procession through town made of police, fire, and other city vehicles.
It looks like that arrangement will stick around in lieu of the traditional parade. Here’s what the City of Aurora said about the decision.
As announced earlier this week, the decision to re-imagine the traditional downtown Fourth of July Parade by taking it out into the community in a format that would reach exponentially more people was made after considering the impact on the greater community, including the management of City services and resources and savings of overall costs.
Led by public safety vehicles and a Trolley of Heroes filled with local veterans, the Fourth of July Procession will travel throughout the City of Lights on the morning of Independence Day.First held in 2020, the procession model was necessary during the start of the pandemic and was well-received by the community. While the Fourth of July Parade returned to downtown last year, participation was lower than desired, but consistent with declining spectator participation before 2020.After further consideration on community impact and cost savings, City officials have decided to return to the procession model this year by bringing the parade to the residents.The procession will begin at Phillips Park on Aurora’s eastside, traveling past Sunnymere Nursing Home, through nearby neighbors before going through the heart of downtown. It will continue throughout the westside of Aurora and travel back east on Indian Trail to Aurora’s far east side, where it will pass several neighborhoods and schools, before heading south on Eola Road and concluding at Aurora Fire Station #12, at Eola Road and Hafenrichter.Nursing homes, schools, and parks are key locations along the route, providing an opportunity to reach more Aurorans, including those who may not be mobile, closer to their homes.The procession route will allow families to watch from their neighborhoods or in larger spaces in parking lots, parks, and other green areas. Along the route, there will be designated ‘candy zones’ where the procession will slow down so that candy can be distributed to spectators.The Fourth of July Procession will step off at 10 a.m.With more than 30,000 people expected to be in attendance, the annual Fourth of July Fireworks Extravaganza will be held later in the evening at RiverEdge Park, and McCullough Park, with fireworks beginning at 9:15 p.m.RiverEdge Park, will feature DJ SuaveSmooth and food vendors. McCullough Park will feature DJ Pena and family-friend entertainment. Food trucks will also be available at the Wilder Park Promenade.As in past years, the City will provide shuttles from six locations throughout the City to both parks, with return shuttles service after the fireworks.
Additional details, including shuttle routes, can be found at www.aurora-il.org/FourthofJuly.