Paper planes flew near the airspace of Macy's, Cinnabon and Panera Bread stores Saturday at Westfield Fox Valley mall in Aurora as kids at the first Aurora Paper Plane Air Show overshot, undershot and otherwise missed their targets.
Errant throws were all part of the fun of the air show's first day, which featured five carnival-style games -- several of them played with paper airplanes.
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"Our goal was to make this a family fun event," said Donna Magin, director of special events for Family Counseling Service, the Aurora nonprofit group that sponsored the show.
Kids like Jose Romero, 10, of West Chicago, and Eric Gan, 9, of Naperville, folded white, blue, yellow or pink paper and then tried their luck at landing their planes on a model aircraft carrier or throwing them through a circular target.
Eric came prepared with his mother, Charlene, toting a small shopping bag full of paper airplanes he folded the previous night.
"My son likes to fold airplanes and play with them," she said. "We were free this morning, so we stopped by the toy shop then came to have some fun."
For others not equipped with pre-made planes, expert assistance was available from Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy student volunteers who built a few planes as models and handed out pointers.
"You have to be very precise when you fold it," IMSA sophomore Simona Stancov of Lansing said.
"It helps to have something heavy to crease it with," sophomore Vinesh Kannan of Schaumburg said.
Magin said the Saturday portion of the air show was all about fun and games, as well as introducing families to the programs Family Counseling Service provides -- credit counseling, mentorship through Big Brothers Big Sisters and counseling for grief, anger management or other issues.
"Today is all the games and to get the enthusiasm building," Magin said.
From 1 to 3 p.m. Sunday in the Macy's court at the mall, the air show will feature competitions for target accuracy, farthest throw, longest time in the air, best acrobatics, smallest plane to travel 10 feet and largest plane to travel 50 feet.
Competitors will be divided by age, all the way through adults.
"We have a lot of adults who want to play, too," said Lynda Elmore, president of the board of Family Counseling Service and an Aurora alderman "And we think that's fantastic."