Official website for the City of Aurora, Illinois. Mayor Tom Weisner

News Details

Partnership Saves Aurora's Fourth of July Parade

Aurora’s Fourth of July Parade will step off again this summer thanks to a new partnership forged between the City and Roosevelt-Aurora American Legion Post 84.

While still planning to hold the Fourth of July fireworks display, the parade initially was cut from the 2011 budget. At the urging of 3rd Ward Alderman Stephanie Kifowit, the American Legion Post 84 applied for funding through the City’s Neighborhood Festival program, which limits the City’s contribution to $2,000. However, a more comprehensive funding plan has been announced after Mayor Tom Weisner met with veterans’ organizations to solidify a new partnership.

The City has pledged to match money raised by the American Legion – dollar for dollar up to a maximum of $15,000 – to pay for the parade. Historically, the Fourth of July parade has cost the city nearly $30,000 and taken nearly 350 hours of city staff time.

“Given the difficult economic times, we had to make tough budget decisions and hope that civic and volunteer organizations would partner with us to preserve traditions like the Fourth of July parade,” Mayor Weisner said. “We are excited Post 84 has stepped up to the forefront to make the parade a reality this year.”

Aldermen-At-Large Bob O’Connor and Richard Irvin will contribute a portion of their Aldermen-At-Large funds to help the City meet its matching contribution. A City liaison will be designated to help with event planning, but the City will be relying on veteran organizations and other volunteers to organize and staff the parade.

The City’s commitment to the Fourth of July Parade was welcome news to Legion Post 84 Commander Norris “Doc” Erickson.

“I’m glad that we the people have come together to pull this thing off,” Erickson said. “The parade means family, neighbors and friends will be able to come together to celebrate America’s freedom.”

City leaders had to make significant cost reductions across the board this year – including both staffing and funding for special events – to help balance a projected $18 million revenue shortfall. Due to budget constraints, the City is relying on public-private partnerships to keep the traditions alive, like the one forged with the Aurora Civic Center Authority to produce Blues on the Fox and the Downtown Alive concert series this summer.

The City will continue to honor veterans two other times this year with its annual Memorial and Veterans’ Day parade celebrations.

The Aurora Area Chamber of Commerce will be joining the American Legion in helping to raise funds for the parade. Donations can be made to: Roosevelt-Aurora Post 84, P.O. Box 4784, Aurora, IL 60657. Further details about the parade will be posted on the City’s website, www.aurora-il.org, this summer.

Location: Aurora, Illinois

General

Release Date—February 23rd, 2011