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posted: 5/13/2010 12:01 AM

North Aurora's first community parade Sunday

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  • Shannon Lopresti, 9, and brother Tony, 7, of the Montminy Dentistry baseball team hand out candy individually to people along the parade route for the North Aurora Mother's Club and North Aurora Baseball Association last year.

       Shannon Lopresti, 9, and brother Tony, 7, of the Montminy Dentistry baseball team hand out candy individually to people along the parade route for the North Aurora Mother's Club and North Aurora Baseball Association last year.
    Laura Stoecker | Staff Photographer, 2009

 
By Molly Kozik

The North Aurora Mothers Club has invited the whole village to participate in the first-ever North Aurora Community Parade starting at 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16.

What started as the North Aurora Baseball Parade with the North Aurora Baseball Association in 2003 is now themed "Celebrating Good Neighbors," according to parade organizer Becky Barr of the North Aurora Mothers Club.

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"It used to be exclusive to the baseball teams but we wanted to invite everybody," said Julie Simpson who is chair of the North Aurora River District Alliance (NOARDA) and also an NAMC member.

The parade will step off from Clock tower Plaza at the southeast corner of Oak Street and Randall Road. Spectators can watch nearly 60 groups marching in the 1.5 mile parade proceed east on Oak Street, then south on Route 31/Lincolnway, east on State Street/Route 56 and end at North Aurora Island Park at the Fox River.

The parade is being sponsored by North Aurora Baseball Association, the village of North Aurora, North Aurora Lions Club and 95.9 River FM.

"The Mothers Club is taking on a huge task and we've gotten a lot of help from the village in getting this route approved right down the heart of the village," Barr said. "The village has agreed with our vision in making this parade possible for our whole community."

The NAMC originally had a goal of about 30 groups in the parade but has received over 55 applications from groups agreeing to march in the parade.

Village leaders, North Aurora police and fire departments, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, horses from the Huntoon Stables, the Aurora Area Shriners, A&W Root Beer and even residents from Eden Supportive Living will join the boys and girls from the baseball teams in the parade, Barr reported.

The only thing the NAMC can't control is the weather. "I'm trying hard not to obsess about the weather," Barr said. "We've always had pretty good luck for the baseball parade so we're keeping our fingers crossed for Saturday."

The parade organizers have set up four shuttle stops along the parade route running from 1 to 2 p.m. before the parade and from 3 to 5 p.m. after the parade.

The shuttle busses will pick up passengers at Clock tower Plaza, at Sycamore and Oak, at Island Park and at Schneider Elementary School on the east side of town, according to Barr.

"Businesses along the north end of near State and Lake streets have agreed to allow parking at businesses between A&W and State Street," she said.

Police are allowing parking on non-hydrant sides of the street. A map of the parade route and approved parking areas can be found on the NAMC website www.northauroramothersclub.org.

"It's been a great team effort with the Mothers club," said Village liaison Mark Gaffino. "We are proud of our main street and hope we can build on this parade."

Participants will be treated to family-oriented events at the riverfront following the parade sponsored by NOARDA including a rubber duck race fundraiser.

"We're excited for people to see how beautiful it is down at Island Park and to see what it can become," Simpson said.

She said the ducks for the fundraiser cost $5 apiece and are also available in a "quack pack" of five ducks for $20. Ducks can be purchased at Pedal and Spoke on Lincolnway and on Saturday at Pets Supply Plus in North Aurora during its Save a Stray Day at the store.

NOARDA will sell a maximum of 600 ducks and drop them off the State Street Bridge after the parade. Mayor Dale Berman will pluck the winning duck out of water and the winner will receive a $300 prize. More information about the duck race is at noarda.org.

Food vendors will be set up at the end of the parade route at Island Park. Fox Valley Park District will offer children's games and The River 95.9 FM radio will also have games and giveaways.

If you go

What: The first North Aurora Community Parade, hosted by the North Aurora Mothers Club

When: 2 p.m. Sunday, May 16

Where: The parade will begin at Clocktower Plaza on the corner of Randall and Oak streets, proceed east on Oak, south on Route 31, east on Route 56, and end at North Aurora Island Park on the riverfront.

Cost: free

Details: northauroramothersclub.org; (630) 897-8228

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