AURORA -- As has been the tradition for many years in the city, Aurora officials are planning to offer a variety of activities for residents and visitors to engage in on Independence Day (July 4).
The day gets under way as the parks and recreation department sponsors the annual 1-mile and 5K fun runs at 8 a.m. on the grounds around Aurora Memorial Library and the Bicentennial Park gazebo.
The runs follow routes down the streets in the area east of the library and around the former Aurora Country Club. The 1-mile run goes first, followed by the 5K. Awards for top runners in various age categories will be presented at the gazebo after the 5K.
Parade units will begin assembling at mid-morning in the parking lots at Barrington Town Square shopping center, and the parade -- with Aurora School Board member Gerald Kohanski as grand marshal -- will commence at 11 a.m.
The usual route will be followed -- out of Barrington Town Square, south on Route 306 and west on West Pioneer Trail, dispensing between the main fire station and Walker Building.
The afternoon festival will begin about noon on the grounds to the east of the main fire station. Booths will be set up there by local organizations, and there will be food and refreshments of all kinds available.
Jungle Terry will show his animals at 12:30 p.m.,, Flower the Clown will be on hand and there will be music provided by disc jockey Jason Adkins.
Sometime during the afternoon, Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin will present awards to the best units in the parade, as judged by a panel picked by city officials, and the annual frog jumping contest will take place.
Residents and visitors will have a few hours to enjoy at home in the late afternoon and early evening, but then can return to the Kiwanis-Moore Playground pavilion to help Santino Palma, Kyle Grandillo, Austin Bianco and Harry Baymiller provide live music from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m.
Some of the food trailers will remain there to sell refreshments.
Onlookers then can stake out a place around the high school or their favorite other haunts around town to view the fireworks, which will commence at about 9:45 p.m.