On May 6, First Fridays brings more than two dozen food trucks to Benton Street in downtown Aurora. The popular festival returns to programming on the first Fridays in May after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
Organized by the Aurora Downtown group, the Food Truck Festival will fill Benton Street from River Street to Broadway with a wide variety of food vendors from 5-9 p.m.
This will be the fifth time the organization has hosted the event rain or shine with food vendors ranging from macaroni and cheese from Auntie Vee to famous bratwursts from Wurst Kitchen.
A few local favorites include Grumpy Gaucho, Holy Pierogi and Strawberries BBQ. Chicagoland and regional trucks also travel to downtown Aurora for the event. Tapville Social will set up a beer garden.
2 dozen activities
In addition to the festival, the First Fridays lineup includes more than two dozen activities for all ages throughout downtown.
Superjumbo Toy Store, 105 E. Galena Blvd., will host the DoomCo Sofubi Pop Up Shop featuring a variety of Sofubi, and the launch of the Superjumbo variant of Maneki-Astro. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The 1904 Gallery, 1 E. Benton St., will open on the lower level with “Art Comes Alive: A Teen Art Exhibition.” Alive Center and Vizo Arts will host the second annual Teen Art Expo showcasing the creative spirit of local youth. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The venue will be open on the third floor from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. with Congressman Bill Foster’s Congressional Art Contest.
Artesan Lofts Art Gallery, 2 S. Stolp Ave., will host Dive Deep Photography and Wearable Art by Emily Laurich from 6-8:30 p.m.
Waubonee Community College, 18 S. River St., will be open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with a pottery sale, live jazz with the Victor Garcia Latin Quintet at 7 p.m., screen printing of t-shirts with William Estrada from 6 p.m. student art, photo demonstrations, make-up workshops.
Gary Brown Art Gallery and Studio | Mark Radina Stained Glass, 7 S. Broadway, will host a new exhibition of retro lamp art created by artist Randy Meyers, also known as “The Recreator” from 5-9 p.m.
The ArtBar at Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, will open with The ArtBar’s The Tavern Show. The art exhibit will return to the tavern with new works by over three dozen local artists. 7 p.m. to midnight
Seven Setting Suns Art Gallery, 14 W. Downer Pl., will host “Reckoning: Pretty Persuasions,” art by Vincenzo Valenziano from 6-10 p.m.
Aurora Public Art at the DLP Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., 3rd Floor, will be open with (Re)volution: The Kyle Reeves Painting Retrospective 1999-2021 from 6-9 p.m.
The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, 64 S. River St., will celebrate its grand reopening with live music featuring Jazzquatch and Simply Connie, a signature mural by artist Hailey, and free wall prints for the first 100 visitors. 5:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
And there’s more !
- Altiro Latin Fusion, 1 S. Stolp Ave., will feature live Spanish rock with Damián Rivera from 7-9 p.m.
- Endiro Coffee, 29 W. New York St., will host art and live music from 6-9 p.m.
- Tavern on Broadway, 24 N. Broadway, will host music by Michael Rawls from 8-10 p.m.
- Café Tredwell, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 18, will be open with live music by Emma Lee from 5-9 p.m.
- Aurora Tap House, 134 W. Downer Pl., will celebrate with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta with DJ Alex J starting at 9 p.m.
- Aurora Regional Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, 105 E. Galena Blvd. On the 8th floor, will host The Latino Mirror, an artisanal table to make a designer mirror, wine and cheese table from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- The Christian Science Reading Room, 34 S. Stolp Ave, will be open with free small plants from 6-8 p.m.
- French 75 Gallery and Lounge, 56 E. Galena Blvd., will be offering a special craft cocktail on the first Fridays in May for the evening from 5 p.m. to midnight.
- Aurora Public Library, 101 S. River St., will host Feel the Beat, unveiling the winner of the library card design contest, Chinese dance by Hao Dance and Japanese drumming by Tsukasa Taiko from 5:30-8 p.m.
- McCarty Mills Taproom and Bottleshop, 140 S. River St., will be open with Latin House DJs, featured artist Dzhelasi and Killer Taste Buds Pop Up from 5 p.m. to midnight.
- GAR Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl., will be open with The Smithsonian’s Righting A Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II from 5-9 p.m.
- Aurora Historical Society at the DLP Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., will present Portraits from the Past: Dozens of oil and photographic portraits from the 1840s to the 1980s from 6-9 p.m.
- Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl. upstairs, will host an open house from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with live music from Flowtation, a performance by Magnolia Belly Dance, I of the Angeles and vendors locals, members of the Business Collective, Reiki, readings and massage therapy.
- Wyckwood House, 80 S. River St., will feature music by Nick Gutierrez. Pop Ups with Emily Piltaver, Synergy Art Studio, and Michelle Parker’s Chi-cuterie from 5 to 9 p.m.
- Society 57, 100 S. River St., will be open with craft cocktails from 5-9 p.m.
- Hope Chest, 34 N. Lincoln Ave., will be open with a storewide sale and giveaways from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
- Everything Has Spoke, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 10, will host a pop-up with Grande Clam, featuring handmade Croc charms ranging from chickens to plants, an assortment of positive daily reminder decals, metal keychains vegan leather and fun items. 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
- Undisputed Vintage, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 8, will host a Keeping it Green pop-up from 5-9 p.m. Shop for hand-painted plants and pots as well as vintage clothing.
For more information, visit www.auroradowntown.org.
About Aurora Downtown
Aurora Downtown is a nonprofit group of businesses and property owners within Special Service Area (SSA) One that strives to create a healthy and thriving downtown for all to enjoy. Learn more about auroradowntown.org.
Permission to use photos courtesy of Aurora Downtown.