In July, we celebrate freedom. Not just in the US, but around the world, nations celebrate Independence Day this month, including Somalia, Surinam, Belarus, Algeria, Venezuela, Argentina, South Sudan, Bahamas, Columbia, Belgium, Peru, Maldives and Vanuatu, not to mention the commemoration of the start of the French Revolution on Bastille Day.

In Aurora, we do July 4 proud.

Special thanks this year as always to Jim Kraus, Colleen Martin, Bill Fellenstein, Dennis Altman, Madeleine Marazzi and all the parks and recreation staff, as well as John Trew, Jim Jordan and the service department staff, plus police and fire personnel who give up their own holiday to ensure that each of us enjoy a great day Independence Day.

Their hard work is appreciated. Happy Fourth of July!

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Lgendary Stephen Sondheim's landmark musical, "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street," opens at 8 p.m. July 5 and continues through July 19 at Aurora Community Theatre.

Combining comic turns and chilling drama, music-hall-style numbers and hauntingly beautiful romantic songs, "Sweeney Todd" offers a fascinating portrait of a man driven to madness by injustice. Widely acknowledged as Sondheim's musical masterpiece, the composer weaves his brilliant wit with haunting dark humor.

Tickets at $16 include a free party after the show to meet cast and crew. There is a special price of "buy one, get one free" for this Sunday's matinee if you enter the special coupon code: sweeneybogo. The cast features Aurorans Heather Gosnell, Jesse Bergoine, Ryan Roark, T.J. Hayes, Carolyn Voorhees, Andy Novak and Madeline Cuckow.

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Free music concerts continue on alternating Wednesday evenings from 7 to 9 in Veterans Memorial Park. The Chardon Polka Band takes center stage July 9 sponsored by Aurora Manor and Independence Village of Aurora.

Red Light Rozy's blues, swing and boogie-woogie take the spotlight July 23. Bring a lawn chair, blanket or "sit-upon," as we used to say in Girl Scouts. For weather updates, call 330-655-6410 or sign up for text or email updates through RainedOut Know Before You Go on the city's website at

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ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and Red Hat Mamas get together for lunch and fun. The men's group assures me there's nothing fuddy-duddy about their attitude toward fun and food. It will gather at 11:30 am July 16 at Papous Tap & Grill.

Patty Harrington in the senior citizens' office asks that you call her at 330-995-9148 to let the guys know you're coming. In the same vein, Barbara Welch and her convivial ruby-chapeau-wearing cohorts are looking to expand their bi-monthly Friday lunch bunch. Give her a call at 330-562-4289.

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We welcome your Aurora news. Contact Christine Patronik-Holder at 440-708-1755 or