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updated: 8/2/2011 3:45 PM

North Aurora Days brings back traditional events

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  • Jim Green from Montgomery creates balloon animals for his grandchildren and other youngsters at last year's North Aurora Days.

      Jim Green from Montgomery creates balloon animals for his grandchildren and other youngsters at last year's North Aurora Days.
    Daily Herald Archives/2010

  • Hundreds of pets of all shapes and sizes take a stroll with their owners down State Street during last year's North Aurora Days Pet Parade.

      Hundreds of pets of all shapes and sizes take a stroll with their owners down State Street during last year's North Aurora Days Pet Parade.
    Daily Herald Archives/2010

  • North Aurora's biggest event of the year parades down Oak Street last year. Fire trucks, police cars, and families all come together for the Emergency Vehicles Lights and Sirens parade.

      North Aurora's biggest event of the year parades down Oak Street last year. Fire trucks, police cars, and families all come together for the Emergency Vehicles Lights and Sirens parade.
    Daily Herald Archives/2010

 
By Samantha Kiesel
skiesel@dailyherald.com

The Clocktower Plaza in North Aurora will be closed on at 3 p.m. Friday, to set up for a traditional event.

The 2011 North Aurora Days will kick off its three-day festivities with the Emergency Vehicle Lights and Sirens parade at 7 p.m., through the downtown area. The night will continue with music and activities at the Clocktower Plaza.

Chairman of North Aurora Days Mark Gaffino said this festival allows residents a chance to come together, acting as a big block party.

"This is a great festival that helps people really get to know your neighbor," Gaffino said. "It's a friendly crowd and you can just wander through all of the activities. A lot of people who have moved come back into town just for this event."

The festival runs Friday, Aug. 5 to Sunday, Aug. 7 with the community garage sale starting at 8 a.m. each day. The garage sale is now three days this year instead of two. This unique event is scattered throughout the village, providing multiple places to shop.

Gaffino said the garage sale committee decided it would be a good idea to keep the garage sale going until Sunday for people who are unable to attend because they work on Friday.

"They figured some people aren't home on Friday, so they thought to add it on Sunday," Gaffino said. "It's been a pretty cool tradition that people really enjoy participating in."

Many events are returning to this year's festival like the Baggo Tournament, which Gaffino said was very successful in its inaugural year. Gaffino said the event is on track to reach the maximum 32 teams this year. Preregistration is required and will close once all 32 teams are filled. The double elimination competition begins on Saturday at 3 p.m., and costs $40 for a team to register.

Other activities include the Kids Fishing Derby at 7 a.m. Saturday, a craft fair from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, and the whole festival ends with the pet parade starting at 3 p.m. Sunday.

"The events this year are pretty much the same," Gaffino said. "This is our second year for the fishing derby, which had a great turnout of around 100 kids last year. This year too, we're going to have an enlarged amusement area that blocks out Oak Street, so that should be great."

All the rides and amusement are open at 5 p.m. on Friday and 2 p.m. on Saturday, ending at 11 p.m. on both days.

Friday and Saturday night will feature fireworks starting at 9:30 p.m. or when it is dark enough. Gaffino said they had enough sponsors this year which helped support the fireworks for both nights.

Despite all the different activities and amusement rides, Gaffino said it is really the people that makes North Aurora Days different from other festivals in the area.

"In my opinion the people in the North Aurora area are really friendly," Gaffino said.

"I don't want to say this festival is better than others, but the people just make this one special. They won't be disappointed with the events this year."

For a complete schedule of events, see northauroradays.com

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