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North Aurora Days Committee Minutes

Monday, January 9, 2023
Call to Order
Mark Gaffino called the meeting to order at 6:06 pm.
Mark Gaffino, Jessi Watkins, Julie Shoemaker, Lynn Miller, Holly O’Brien, Robyn Stecklein, Steve Bosco, and Chris Wagner.
Approval of Minutes
Jessi Watkins made a motion to approve the December 12, 2022, meeting minutes, which was seconded by Robyn Stecklein.
Motion to Approve: All in Favor
1. Discussion of bands for North Aurora Days
Village Administrator Steve Bosco gave a summary of the selection process for the bands and those which had been selected by the group along with several alternates. Bosco discussed the budget, which the current selections were well within, alongside the bands’ expected contract fees.
2. Discussion of Sponsorship Materials for North Aurora Days
Administrator Bosco went over the changes made to the sponsorship materials and suggested changing the title of associate sponsor to bronze sponsor, to which the committee agreed. Lynn Miller suggested calling attention to the changes in the letter to sponsors. The benefit of signage in the inflatable area was changed to a general park area due to concerns of electric for the inflatables. Committee members went through each level of sponsorship and associated benefits. Administrator Bosco suggested having a banner in the park for groups of sponsors of family entertainment.
Committee members went over the layout from the previous year and discussed the limited number of spaces, shifting various booths to new locations and having all sponsor booths along the path in the park. Signage was also discussed to help guide attendees towards park attractions.
The committee discussed the general layout for the event, shifting the beer tent and ancillary tents to allow for a better flow of foot traffic through the area. Administrator Bosco pointed out the need for an emcee during the event to draw more attention to various entertainment and events throughout the weekend. Lynn Miller and Chairman Gaffino discussed the needs of the Lions Club.
Lynn Miller asked the committee how political sponsorships would be approached for 2023. Chairman Gaffino stated that there had not been many in the past. Administrator Bosco pointed out that although they had not posed an issue, it would be simpler to not allow them. The committee agreed.
3. Discussion of North Aurora Days Entertainment
Jessi Watkins gave a summary of her research on entertainment options, suggesting oversized board games and traditional picnic games such as tug of war or potato sack races. She suggested that people enjoy nostalgia and may bring their kids to experience more traditional games. Administrator Bosco added that the bags tournament can also take place at that time. Lynn Miller inquired where the games might take place. Watkins suggested the open area behind the stage. Watkins departed early ahead of adjournment.
4. Discussion of Food Vendors for North Aurora Days
Administrative Analyst Chris Wagner provided an overview of a new food vendor application process, whereby an open initiation would go out to numerous vendors to apply if interested. Interested vendors would then be provided to the committee for selection. Chairman Gaffino voiced concern with regards to menu, food quality and reliability of new vendors. Administrator Bosco added that the invitation to apply could go out to all local restaurants and businesses. Chairman Gaffino stated his desire to remain with a core group of vendors with known history of reliability. Holly O’Brien stated that she had heard complaints regarding the costs of food at some vendors. The committee discussed experiences and food costs at other local festivals, especially regarding feeding a family. The committee discussed the challenges of various vendors, speed, and menu options. Chairman Gaffino asked the committee what foods they might like to see at the event. Gaffino suggested that staff look for leads on food trucks or other popular choices from other local events. Administrator Bosco clarified that food trucks were desired, which Gaffino replied that they were. Lynn Miller suggested putting average wait time for menu items on the application to help address cooking time concerns. The committee discussed various food types and what different age groups might prefer. Chairman Gaffino stated that the fee should remain the same as in the past, not to be increased. Administrator Bosco stated that there would be room for possibly six to seven vendors, depending on set-up size. This would be accommodated more easily with a slightly smaller tent. Chairman Gaffino stated that is could possibly be shortened to the south. Gaffino stated that up to seven vendors would be chosen to cover broad categories with as little duplication as possible. Administrator Bosco clarified again that food trucks would be considered. Chairman Gaffino confirmed and stated that people would need to understand that wait times could be longer with some selections.
5. Discussion of North Aurora Days
The committee had a brief discussion regarding shuttles. Having no major issues, the committee was pleased with the results in 2022.
The committee discussed challenges with volunteers to run various events. Various entities were discussed that committee members may be able to approach for support of an event.
With no further discussion, Lynn Miller made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:23 pm, which was seconded by Robyn Stecklein.
Motion to Adjourn: All in Favor
Respectfully submitted,
Chris Wagner

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