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North Aurora Days Committee Minutes

Monday, September 12, 2022
Call to Order
Mark Gaffino called the meeting to order at 6:03 pm.
Mark Gaffino, Robyn Stecklein, Jessi Watkins, Julie Shoemaker, Holly O’Brien, Lynn Miller, Steve Bosco, Doug Botkin and Chris Wagner.
Approval of Minutes
Lynn Miller made a motion to approve the July 11, 2022 meeting minutes, which was seconded by Robyn Stecklein.
Motion to Approve: All in Favor
1. Discussion of North Aurora Days 2022
Chairman Gaffino and Administrator Bosco summarized the positive points of the 2022 North Aurora Days event, highlighting Frankie the Dinosaur, fishing derby, shuttles, band choices and others. Items of less success were also discussed alongside options to improve for 2023 such as additional lighting needed near water wonders, an alternate ATM source as it was out of order, and options for processing credit cards. Administrator Bosco suggested that further investigation would be needed as there are legal concerns and regulations relating to the Village’s processing of credit cards.
Challenges of food vendors was discussed along with layout changes proposed for beer tent sales. Another challenge noted was a lack of kid’s activities aside from Frankie the Dinosaur and face painting. Jessi Watkins voiced concern over the lack of volunteerism to help host new events. Doug Botkin stated that the committee would need to determine where its priorities lie for 2023.
Lynn Miller suggested the possibility of hosting a bingo game with the Lion club. Chairman Gaffino voiced support of the idea and stated that it had been done in the past on Saturday morning when the park was quiet.
Administrator Bosco stated that one of the challenges of the event is the public perception when they hear the word festival, and have specific things in mind such as fireworks or a carnival, which does not fit North Aurora Days. Stecklein agreed and commented that people may also not want to move around to different locations for various events, preferring to stay in one place. Watkins also agreed and suggested a different name for the event to get away from that idea. Bosco stated that having the term “days” in the title implied that the events are spread out throughout the community over multiple days. Watkins suggested putting a slogan or tagline underneath it to help differentiate the event.
2. Discussion of North Aurora Days 2023
Building upon previous discussions, Administrator Bosco pointed to the need for individual committee members to take on a greater role in the planning and execution processes of the event and identified categories of the event could be selected by various members to lead research, plan and coordinate with the support of Village staff. Secondly, Bosco stated the importance of establishing a budget very early in the process to help guide the various category decisions and activities. Example of categories may include food vendors (with a new process for applications), bands, sponsors and location/layout.
Chairman Gaffino discussed the challenges with sponsorships and the opportunity to gain support by going to businesses individually with sponsorship materials and speaking with the owners or managers. Bosco agreed that there are challenges, and stated that there are questions of ethics when businesses have open permits, are political in nature or other general concerns over false perceptions of relationships with the Village. Bosco also pointed out that numerous other communities have non-profit 501C3 organizations that operate events, not the municipality itself. Holly O’Brien asked if a 501C3 would be formed. Watkins pointed out that it would be a long arduous process.
Administrator Bosco listed some event ideas that had been suggested for 2023: fireworks, light show or drone show, and event shirts for volunteers and staff working, having someone to MC the event on stage, fans for the beer tent areas, additional kid’s events/games, and a new logo.
Discussion was had regarding the event dates and the possibility of having it a different weekend. O’Brien stated that anything in the fall would be too difficult due to families with kid’s schedules and a lack of volunteers. Miller stated that garage sale participation was much better in the summer months.
Administrator Bosco stated that staff would bring a proposed budget forward for the committee at the next meeting and also email everyone a list of categories for consideration to take lead upon with staff support for 2023.
With no further discussion, Lynn Miller made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:18 pm, which was seconded by Jessi Watkins.
Motion to Adjourn: All in Favor
Respectfully submitted,
Chris Wagner

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