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North Aurora Days Committee Minutes

Monday, January 8, 2024
Call to Order
Mark Gaffino called the meeting to order at 6:02 pm.
Mark Gaffino, Julie Shoemaker, Lynn Miller, Jessi Watkins, Norma Yario, Robyn Stecklein, Steve Bosco, and Natalie Stevens
Approval of Minutes
Lynn Miller made a motion to approve the November 13, 2023 meeting minutes, which was seconded by Robyn Stecklein.
Motion to Approve: All in Favor
2024 North Aurora Days
Lynn Miller brought up some remarks made to her by community members that she said she would pass along to the Committee regarding the location of the event. She said she’d been told that members of the community felt there would be more participation if the event returned to Clocktower Plaza. She said that the location at North Aurora Riverfront Park was difficult for people with mobility issues to access and that the plaza is at the center of town. They also suggested having the Village purchase the vacant land by Aldi to host it there.
Miller said she mentioned that the Clocktower location included having to pay multiple businesses for use of their property and how sponsorships have been down. She said she personally liked it not being on hot asphalt. Robyn Stecklein chimed in to note that money is a large component as a lot more officers are needed for safety reasons at Clocktower given there are far more ins and outs to protect. She also said that it’s much more difficult and time consuming to shut down Oak Street for several days. Mayor Gaffino said the Committee had discussed having some type of transportation to help bring people into the park. He also said the land referenced for purchase is a prime piece of real estate and would then be taken off the tax roll if bought for the purpose of North Aurora Days. He said that the park isn’t a perfect location but neither is Clocktower. He said he would be open to other ideas, but has heard compliments on the current location.
Administrator Steve Bosco said that if the committee did choose to look at another location for a future year that it would go before the Village Board for the final decision. He noted the Village does not have any large tracks of lands owned other than a section on Orchard Gateway but there is no parking. He said the only parks in the community that would be large enough to host are all located within neighborhoods. Stecklein said she felt a local neighborhood could handle increased traffic and noise for a couple nights if a large park venue would be considered.
Natalie Stevens provided an update and recap to the Committee on the current funds spent for entertainment including bands, video gaming truck, fireworks and went over the proposed cost of the attractions. She said that as of this year just between the fireworks, the increased band costs and the addition of the video gaming truck the budget for North Aurora Days had already gone up by $20,000 since last year. She noted that sponsorships have decreased in years past in keeping an eye on the budget.
After going over both the cost of the attractions as well as the sizes, the Committee opted to go with three attractions and chose to go with an inflatable obstacle course, a giant inflatable slide, and a mechanical bull as various Committee members expressed support for the bull as being a draw for adults as well. They were also excited about the slide, noting it would have shorter wait times than the climbing wall and kids could go down multiple times.
Stevens said the Village had been contacted by a non-profit non-partisan group that wanted to set up a table to register voters and the Committee discussed non-profit attendance. They determined to have it done on a case by case basis and agreed this particular table would be a good thing for the community.
Lynn Miller updated the Committee on beverages and said she was going to reach out to Superior and Euclid. She asked if the Committee was committed to Budweiser products given a steep decline last year and received an answer that they were not.
Jessi Watkins said she had spoken with Messenger Public Library about an activity for the weekend and the library had suggested “science heroes” that is a continuous show featuring science-type experiments and demonstrations. Watkins said she would like to do that one evening and have the DuPage Children’s Museum return for the other day.
Julie Shoemaker said the fishing derby and softball tournament would run as regularly scheduled with no changes, but would talk to the School District to see what they may be thinking for an activity this year.
Mark Gaffino said he had not head back from Mooseheart regarding hosting Touch a Truck on site and as such School District 129 was going to allow the event to be held at Jewel Middle School. Stecklein said she’d see about potentially a car seat safety check rather than the child IDs to keep everything outside. Gaffino suggested shortening the event and options of 10am – 1pm or 10am – 12pm were suggested.
With no further discussion, Mark Gaffino made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 7:21pm, which was seconded by Robyn Stecklein.
Motion to Adjourn: All in Favor
Respectfully submitted,
Natalie Stevens



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