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North Aurora Days Committee Minutes

Monday, September 11, 2023
Call to Order
Mark Gaffino called the meeting to order at 6:05 pm.
Mark Gaffino, Holly O’Brien, Julie Shoemaker, Lynn Miller, Jessi Watkins, Steve Bosco, and Natalie Stevens
Approval of Minutes
Holly O’Brien made a motion to approve the July 10, 2023 meeting minutes, which was seconded by Jessi Watkins
Motion to Approve: All in Favor
2023 North Aurora Days
Lynn Miller remarked that attendance seemed to be up for North Aurora Days 2023, to which Holly O’Brien noted that Friday went really well for beer sales but Saturday not so much. She said she did believe people enjoyed the choice of drinks and acknowledged while they knew they would take a hit with Buld Light sales they didn’t realize how large it would be and they only sold 12 cases. She said there were issues with the wine that was delivered – whole bottles and not individual and they had to be swapped out last minute – and said it has been harder to work with beverage supplier Superior. They had accounts set up to take credit card payments and O’Brien said a large majority of sales were on credit card. There were no reported issues with the ATM.
Jessi Watkins mentioned utilizing officers to do checks on coolers for next year as it was observed many were bringing in outside alcohol to the event rather than purchasing from the beer tent. The committee agreed to discuss coolers for next year’s event.
Lynn Miller said the Lions Club vision screening at Touch a Truck had 56 kids screened and over 100 child IDs were made by the North Aurora Police Department. Mayor Gaffino said the event was rainy and numbers were half of what they previously were, but kids were out in boots and rain coats. Administrator Bosco commended the layout and that the vehicles were set up early.
Julie Shoemaker went over the community events. She said the fishing derby went off really well and noted there were a lot of participants in the 12-year old group to possibly revisit the breakdown for next year. The softball games also went off well, although it was noted one of the Village’s first aid kits from the event was accidentally taken by a softball team and the Village has not been able to find who may have taken it. The fun run was cancelled due to rain.
Watkins said the cow milking game was fun and while the hippo game ended up becoming more of a bounce house the families and kids did enjoy it. The committee discussed just doing a bounce house for the future. Watkins said she felt the park still needed more lightning, particularly down the hill area.
Mayor Gaffino said he wanted to see about having golf carts escort handicap and more elderly individuals to the event as the handicap parking area is still a decent walk from the festivities. It was suggested a police officer could be in charge of that as they could also do rounds to check on CERT operations.
2024 North Aurora Days
Mayor Gaffino said for next year it was important to include Moosehart more in the Touch a Truck programming. He also noted it would be a good idea to reach out to see what kind of events they would like to host (or not host). He discussed moving Touch a Truck to possibly a school or to the police department.
Community and Board Relations Coordinator Natalie Stevens updated the committee on the potential of hiring a company to provide food trucks for the 2024 event as the logistics of finding vendors each year is difficult for staff. Brew Avenue Events, the company the Village has used for food truck festivals, offered in conjunction with other Village events to have food trucks on scene both days for a total of $500. The Village earned $2,400 in registration revenue from food vendors in the past, but put out a similar amount if not more on generators and hookups for the vendors to utilize. All committee members were in favor of switching to this setup.
Committee members said Stella the Sloth was a hit as was Frankie and would like to see both brought back. Watkins also touted the idea of a video gaming truck again and it was discussed it could be put in the front parking lot of Village Hall with handicap parking being more accessible with golf cart rides down to the venue.
The committee also discussed having fireworks and Stevens said she would reach out to Pyrotechnio to see about a quote. The committee wanted to adjust sponsorship levels to $250, $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000 and discussed a potential $10,000 Fireworks sponsorship tier as well to help offset the cost of fireworks.
All members of the committee agreed they wanted to keep North Aurora Days at North Aurora Riverfront Park. Mayor Gaffino said he heard a lot of compliments from attendees and said the event was only getting better each year.
With no further discussion, Lynn Miller made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:40pm, which was seconded by Julie Shoemaker.
Motion to Adjourn: All in Favor
Respectfully submitted,
Natalie Stevens

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