Aurora Hispanic heritage fest celebrates ‘los Ninos’

At this year’s El Dia de los Ninos festival, it’s all about reading.

“Books and Libros” is the theme for the annual festival, hosted by the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30, in the Aurora Transportation Center parking lot.

The board partnered with Aurora school districts 129 and 131 to emphasize the importance of education, said Diana Torres, chairwoman of the Aurora Hispanic Heritage Advisory Board.

The partnership may draw even more people to the festival than the 2,000 to 4,000 who have attended El Dia de los Ninos in the past, she said.

“Because we’re working directly with the schools, they’re promoting it” by giving each student a flier to take home, Torres said. “We envision this being larger.”

The school districts combined to donate more than 3,000 books for children who attend the festival and visit age-appropriate literacy stations staffed by volunteer teachers.

Students can pick up their free book inside the Aurora Public Library’s bookmobile after stopping at the literacy stations, said Amy Roth, library spokeswoman. They also can participate in raffles for goody bags, and anyone can apply for a library card by bringing photo identification and proof of residency.

And if kids who have practiced their reading skills claim the whole stock of free books before the event ends, Torres said she’ll be happy.

“We’re really trying to promote the teachers as a portal to access all the other stuff,” Torres said. “This is an opportunity to promote what our organization is about, which is education.”

Other attractions at the festival include a magic show, stage performances by Aurora students and Wulin Dynasty Cheer, face painting, a Mother’s Day card-making station and other crafts. Concessions will be for sale from several vendors at the free event.

Children can get their faces painted, bounce around on inflatables and make cards for their mothers at this year’s El Dia De Los Ninos festival Saturday at the Aurora Transportation Center. BEV HORNE/Daily Herald, April 2009

If you go

What: El Dia de los Ninos

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 30

Where: Aurora Transportation Center parking lot, northwest corner of Spring Street and Lincoln Avenue

Cost: Free, concessions for sale

Details: The festival includes literacy stations, free books, entertainment and crafts

Info: (630) 256-3368 or <a href=""></a>