They have led the way in protecting the health of our community during the pandemic, and now health care heroes in Aurora will lead the City's Fourth of July parade as grand marshals.
"We can never thank our health care heroes enough for their unwavering and steady leadership throughout the pandemic," said Aurora Mayor Richard C. Irvin. "It is fitting to have them lead this year's Fourth of July Parade as we continue to transition beyond the pandemic and back into full productivity. We owe them a debt of gratitude for guiding us on the road to healthiness and wholeness as one Aurora."
The 2021 Fourth of July Parade will begin at 10 a.m. on Sunday, July 4, in the heart of downtown Aurora, with the theme 'One Aurora, One America.'
Health care workers from Rush-Copley, AMITA Mercy and VNA Health Care, and other healthcare institutions will collectively represent all health care heroes in Aurora.
"The City of Aurora has been incredibly supportive of our health care heroes during the pandemic," said John Diederich, CEO of Rush Copley Medical Center and a life-long Aurora resident. "It is an honor for Rush Copley's caregivers to help lead the parade and celebrate the holiday with our community."
The grand marshals' float will lead more than 50 patriotic, energetic and diverse units, including public safety teams, veteran organizations, elected officials, dance teams, car clubs, youth groups, several cultural performances, and more.
"The VNA Health Care team is so honored to be recognized by the City of Aurora as Healthcare Heroes in the 2021 Independence Day parade, "said Linnea Windel, President and CEO of VNA Health Care. "We are thrilled to join our City, our neighbors, and our healthcare partners on this special day which also coincides with VNA's milestone of administering over 50,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine so far. I can't think of a better way to celebrate than to gather in honor of our country's birthday with a Fourth of July parade!"
The parade will begin at Benton St. and River St., head east on Benton to Broadway, north on Broadway to Downer Place, and west on Downer Pl., ending at River St. The main stage for parade commentary will be located across from the GAR Memorial Hall and Museum, 23 E. Downer Place.
Learn more at www.aurora-il.org/FourthInAurora.
PRE-PARADE RIBBON CUTTING AT GAR MUSEUM
On July 4, 1878, Aurora's Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Memorial Hall and Museum opened for the first time.
On this Fourth of July, 143 years later, the museum, 23 E. Downer Place, will reopen to the public - with a beautifully renovated lower level - after being closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.
A reopening ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held before the parade at 9:15 a.m.
The museum's newly renovated lower level contains the first temporary exhibit of the year, Service and Sacrifice, which details Aurora's military contributions since 1917.
The museum will be open to parade-goers and guests until 2 p.m. on July 4, subsequently will resume regular hours on Fridays from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The City of Lights will live up to its name when the night sky is illuminated with a fireworks extravaganza to kick off the Fourth of July Weekend on Friday, July 2.
The best viewing locations are RiverEdge Park, 360 N. Broadway, and McCullough Park at the Prisco Center, 150 W. Illinois Ave.
Both parks open at 7 p.m. with DJs and dancing. Fireworks will begin at approximately 9:15 p.m.
Guests at RiverEdge Park can review the list of items that cannot be brought onto the premises at https://paramountaurora.com/events/4th-of-july-aurora/