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North Aurora Days Committee Minutes

Monday, February 13, 2023
Call to Order
Mark Gaffino called the meeting to order at 6:07 pm.
Mark Gaffino, Jessi Watkins, Holly O’Brien, Steve Bosco, and Chris Wagner. Director of Messenger Public Library, Shannon Halikias also present.
Approval of Minutes
Jessi Watkins made a motion to approve the January 9, 2023, meeting minutes, which was seconded by Holly O’Brien.
Motion to Approve: All in Favor
1. Discussion of North Aurora Days Layout
Administrative Analyst Chris Wagner gave a summary of the proposed layout created by staff, highlighting tent area, food vendors, booth spaces, light towers, ATM and dumpster locations. The Lions Club indicated that the layout was to their liking for the beer area. The committee recommended moving the ATM closer to the staff entrance of Village Hall. Wagner also provided an update on food vendors and noted that four had been secured with two openings left to potentially fill. The committee discussed alternate lighting options in the park that might be permanently installed to create a path through the park at night and be flush with the ground for easy maintenance. Administrator Bosco stated staff would explore options and bring them back to the committee.
2. Discussion of North Aurora Days Entertainment
Jessi Watkins stated that the entertainment she had explored depended heavily on whether or not the committee decided to utilize the additional space on Island Park to the south of Riverfront Park. She stated that it would create another arm of the event but also create new challenges for the parking that areas that may be displaced. Administrator Bosco stated that it opens up possibilities but that there were challenges as well. Chairman Gaffino summarized the positives and negatives of various scenarios for each location. The committee discussed the past operations when located at the clock tower plaza. Administrator Bosco commented that the parking was better at clocktower. Watkins stated that she felt it did not feel like ‘North Aurora” as much as the park had.
The committee discussed historical events and entertainment from prior years along with challenges of locates additional entertainment at Island Park. Watkins went through the quotes that staff had received regarding the entertainment choices she selected. Watkins and O’Brien agreed that the face painting and balloon artists should remain in Riverfront Park. The Director of Messenger Public Library, Shannon Halikias, noted the library would be interested in sponsoring a band or something more cultural if needed rather than kids’ entertainment.
Administrator Bosco suggested since there is not a second stage, and the event historically is lacking in kids’ entertainment, a juggler or other program would be the best for the event. Discussion was had for various possibilities for library sponsorship and the audiences they wished to reach. The committee discussed the challenges with alcohol being carried across the street if the event were to take place on both sides, and that additional signage would be needed. The committee ultimately decided that the event would remain only in Riverfront Park, and not utilize Island Park beyond its capacity for parking. Bosco proposed the idea that the earlier timeframe for kids’ activities be abandoned and schedule kids’ activities concurrently the main stage entertainment.
3. Discussion of North Aurora Days
Wagner clarified what time frame the committee desired to have Frankie-the-Dinosaur in the park, which they replied sometime between 6:00pm and 8:00pm. Wagner also stated that a volunteer had also contacted staff regarding clean up activities. The committee determined that contact could be made when the event drew nearer to decide where additional help might be needed.
With no further discussion, Chairman Gaffino made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:33 pm, which was seconded by Jessi Watkins.
Motion to Adjourn: All in Favor
Respectfully submitted,
Chris Wagner


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