The force will be strong in downtown Aurora tonight, Friday, May 4. Live music, food trucks, art openings and a special birthday celebration for Mrs. Marie Wilkinson are all part of the First Fridays lineup!
The night gives a nod to National Star Wars Day and its tagline: May the 4th be with you! So don’t be surprised if you see a wookiee or two!
THE ANNUAL FOOD TRUCK FESTIVAL activities begin at 5 p.m. with about 30 food vendors parked along the Benton Street bridges. A kids area near the Swimming Stones will feature hands on activities with Paramount School of the Arts and SciTech Hands On Museum. Live music is featured at Millennium Plaza on Stolp Avenue with Sweet-T at 6 p.m. and Nashon Holloway at 8 p.m.
A SPECIAL CELEBRATION FOR MRS. MARIE WILKINSON will be held at Santori Public Library, 101 S. River St. A new exhibit featuring some of the personal belongings of Aurora's matriarch will be unveiled. The ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. at the main entrance to the library at the Marie Wilkinson Statue.
THE NIGHT ALSO INCLUDES ALMOST 20 VENUES open with art, music, and more for First Fridays:
- AKA Dance, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste. 10, hosts a free dance class. 6:30 to 7 p.m.
- The ArtBar, 205 N. Broadway, hosts “Live Long and Prosper” in the tavern at Two Brothers Roundhouse. Lauren Schmidt in the lounge. 7 p.m. to midnight
- Aurora Historical Society, 20 E. Downer Pl., hosts “Ethnicity and Diversity in Aurora, 1834-Present,” an exhibit featuring the contributions of immigrant groups to Aurora culture, on the first floor and “Aurora Story” on the second floor. 5 to 9 p.m.
- Aurora Public Art continues “Rhonda Wheatley: At Your Soul’s Discretion” that also encourages all ages to create journals on the third floor at the David L. Pierce Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl. 5 to 7 p.m.
- Branch Gardens, 77 S. Lake St., opens its garden center at the northwest corner of Benton and Lake Streets for a pre-grand-opening party. 5 to 10 p.m.
- Christian Science Reading Room, 34 S. Stolp Ave., is open with prizes, gifts, and free kids crafts. 6 to 9 p.m.
- Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., celebrates their one year anniversary with art and live music. 6 to 9 p.m.
- Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., hosts Congressman Bill Foster’s Congressional Art Show featuring student artwork and awards. 5 to 9 p.m.
- Gillerson's Grubbery, 33 W. New York St., welcomes Surly Brewing Company to “Pint Night.” Starts at 6 p.m.
- Gremlen Recording Studios, 130 W. Downer Pl., offers studio tours and karaoke from 6 to 9 p.m.
- If These Walls Could Talk, 32 S. Stolp Ave., opens “Into the Deep: Natalie Siebel.” 7 to 10 p.m.
- SciTech, 18 W. Benton St., hosts “Play, Learn, Connect” with SPARK Aurora Early Childhood Collaboration. 6 to 8 p.m.
- Waubonsee Community College Aurora Downtown campus library, 18 S. River St., is open with a ceramics show and sale plus a pottery throwing demonstration and Waubonsee’s Jazz Combo. The campus cafe will be open and artist Michael Wille will be present at his show “Micro-Aesthetics.” 6 to 8:30 p.m.
- The Web, 134 W. Downer Pl., hosts “Paper, Scissors and Glue,” featuring artists Erin Jones Joseph, Jason DeLancey, and Bryan Danial Joseph. 6 p.m. to 1 a.m.
- Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl., is open with $5 mini classes, demos, massage, and welcomes special guest Jennifer Minott with Young Living Wellness. 6 to 9 p.m.
First Fridays maps are available at all venues. Free trolley rides from downtown parking areas run approximately every 10 to 15 minutes from 6 to 10 p.m.
For more information, visit www.auroradowntown.org.