The local impact of the COVID-19 pandemic will extend well into the summer and possibly longer.
Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin, joined by Aurora Civic Center Authority President and CEO Tim Rater, today announced the cancellation and postponement of many events planned for this summer in Aurora.
“As science demonstrates, large scale events are ideal environments to spread the COVID-19 virus throughout a community,” said Mayor Irvin during a media briefing. “So we, in collaboration with our community partners, have had to make difficult decisions while keeping public health as the top priority.”
The City announced cancellations of large events scheduled for this summer, including the annual Fourth of July Parade and the evening fireworks staged at RiverEdge Park in downtown Aurora.
“Both of these events bring together more than 40,000 spectators,” said Mayor Irvin. “We are planning unique, virtual ways to honor celebrations like Memorial Day and Independence Day.”
Also attracting large crowds to downtown Aurora is the annual summer concert series at RiverEdge Park, which has been called off for the season.
“We’ve come to the determination, given the challenges that go along with COVID-19 and the recent capacity restrictions mandated by the state,” said Rater. “We simply can’t do our 2020 Summer Concert Series while ensuring the health and safety of everyone at RiverEdge Park. Rest assured, music will fill the air next season.”
Most of the scheduled concerts have already been rescheduled for next year. Previously purchased tickets are automatically transferred to the rescheduled dates. Ticket holders can also request a credit, a refund, or to donate their purchase.
Other parades and festivals, such as the Aurora Pride Parade and the Puerto Rican Heritage Festival, have also already been canceled or postponed by organizers; and popular events like First Fridays have transitioned to a virtual platform the past two months and will do so again in June.
The Fox Valley Park District announced yesterday both community swimming pools – the Phillips Park Aquatics Center and the Splash Country Water Park – will not open for the summer season as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. The City’s Aquatic Administrative Board agreed to refund more than 200 season pool passes that have already been purchased.
One summer tradition which will continue – albeit with a revised structure and new guidelines – is the Aurora Farmers Market.
Mayor Irvin announced the popular market will continue to operate its Saturday schedule, but not open the midweek market on Wednesdays this season. Only farmers and food vendors will be onsite at Water Street Square in downtown Aurora and new procedures will reinforce social distance measures between vendors and patrons. Much like visiting a grocery store, everyone will be required to wear face coverings while visiting the revised ‘in-and-out’ market opening on Saturday, June 27.
“While the market may look different, it will allow our residents to still obtain fresh fruits and vegetables while supporting local businesses and area farmers,” said Mayor Irvin. "It is a sign of some of the normalcy we hope to get back to fully in the future."