CHICAGO (WLS) – Downtown Aurora is fairly quiet, with few people out and about, and many stores are closed. But Aurora’s Mayor hopes to be able to change that in just over two weeks.
“Get out of here, have some fun. We’re activating Aurora,” said Mayor Richard Irvin. He said the city was ready to begin reopening on June 11th. This is good news for many, including the Paramount Theater.
The stage and seats have been dark and silent for more than a year. The more than 270 employees were reduced to 14 part-time employees. But now there’s a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Jim Jarvis, the theater’s marketing director, said, “We need everyone’s support to come back. We need people to help us get back on our feet.”
The theater closed last fall just before the debut of their production of “Kinky Boots”. This show will now be the first production when the theater reopens in August.
And Aurora’s River Edge Park, which holds 6,000 people, has been home to major concerts in recent years. The mayor said these concerts will also return from next month.
Carina Mendoza said she looks forward to getting out, as does her family, who own restaurants and food trucks that depend on big events.
“The fact that we can get out and start working is great. We’ll be back with the community,” said Mendoza.
The mayor said he was optimistic that the city can reopen as planned. He says Aurora is on track with the state’s metrics for reopening, but ultimately more people will need to get vaccinated.
“If we wish to have a happy June and July, we need to keep getting vaccinated,” said Irvin.
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