On May 6th, First Fridays will bring more than two dozen food trucks to Benton Street in downtown Aurora. The popular festival returns to the May First Fridays lineup after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic.
The Food Truck Festival, hosted by group Aurora Downtown, will fill Benton Street from River Street to Broadway with a wide variety of food vendors from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m
This marks the fifth time the organization has hosted the rain or shine event, featuring food vendors ranging from Auntie Vee’s macaroni and cheese to Wurst Kitchen’s famous bratwurst.
Some local favorites include Grumpy Gaucho, Holy Pierogi and Strawberries BBQ. Chicagoland and regional trucks are also traveling to downtown Aurora for the event. Tapville Social will set up a beer garden.
2 dozen activities
In addition to the festival, First Fridays hosts more than two dozen activities for all ages throughout downtown.
The Superjumbo Toy Store, 105 E. Galena Blvd., will host the DoomCo Sofubi pop-up shop featuring a variety of Sofubi and the introduction of the Superjumbo variant of Maneki-Astro. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m
Gallery 1904, 1 E. Benton St., will be open on the lower level with “Art Comes Alive: A Teen Art Exhibition.” The Alive Center and Vizo Arts host the second annual Teen Art Show showcasing the creative spirit of local youth. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m
The location will be open on the third floor from 5pm to 8pm with Congressman Bill Foster’s Congressional Art Competition.
Artesan Lofts Art Gallery, 2 S. Stolp Ave., hosts Dive Deep Photography and Wearable Art by Emily Laurich from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m
Waubonsee Community College, 18 S. River St. is from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with a pottery sale, live jazz with the Victor Garcia Latin Quintet at 7:00 p.m., t-shirt screen printing with William Estrada from Open 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. student art exhibition, photo demos, make-up stations.
Gary Brown Art Gallery and Studio | Mark Radina Stained Glass, 7 S. Broadway, will be welcoming a new retro lamp art exhibition from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. by artist Randy Meyers, aka The Recreator
The ArtBar at the Two Brothers Roundhouse, 205 N. Broadway, opens with The Tavern Show by The ArtBar. The art exhibition returns to the tavern with new art by over three dozen local artists. 7pm to midnight
The Seven Setting Suns Art Gallery, 14 W. Downer Pl., is showing “Reckoning: pretty persuasions,” art by Vincenzo Valenziano, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m
Aurora Public Art at the DLP Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., 3rd Floor, is open from 6pm to 9pm with (Re)volution: Kyle Reeves’ Painting Retrospective 1999-2021
The Cotton Seed Creative Exchange, 64 S. River St., is celebrating its grand reopening with live music featuring Jazzquatch and Simply Connie, a mural by artist Hailey, and free wall prints for the first 100 visitors. 5:30 p.m. to 9:00 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., features art and live music from 6pm to 9pm
- Tavern on Broadway, 24 N. Broadway, features music by Michael Rawls from 8pm to 10pm
- Tredwell Coffee, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 18, will be open from 5pm to 9pm with live music by Emma Lee
- Aurora Tap House, 134 W. Downer Pl., is celebrating with a Cinco de Mayo Fiesta starting at 9 p.m. with DJ Alex J
- Regional Spanish Chamber of Commerce Aurora, 105 E. Galena Blvd. The 8th floor hosts The Latino Mirror from 5pm to 8pm, a craft table where a design mirror, a wine table and a cheese table can be made
- Christian Science Reading Room, 34 S. Stolp Ave, will be open 6-8 p.m. with complimentary small plants
- A special craft cocktail will be served at the French 75 Gallery and Lounge, 56 E. Galena Blvd., on the first Friday in May from 5:00 p.m. to midnight.
- Aurora Public Library, 101 S. River St., will host Feel the Beat, featuring the Library Card Design Contest Winner, Chinese Dance by Hao Dance, and Japanese Drumming by Tsukasa Taiko from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m
- McCarty Mills Taproom and Bottleshop, 140 S. River St., will be open from 5 p.m. to midnight with Latin House DJs, Featured Artist Dzhelasi and Killer Taste Buds Pop Up.
- The GAR Museum, 23 E. Downer Pl., is open from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. with The Smithsonian’s Righting A Wrong: Japanese Americans and World War II
- The Aurora Historical Society at the DLP Art and History Center, 20 E. Downer Pl., is showing Portraits of the Past from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.: dozens of oil and photographic portraits from the 1840s to the 1980s
- Zen Loft Wellness Center, 6 W. Downer Pl. upstairs, will be hosting an open house from 5pm to 9pm with live music from Flowtation, performances by Magnolia Belly Dance, I of the Angeles and local vendors, members of the Business Collective , Reiki, readings and massage therapy.
- Wyckwood House, 80 S. River St., will feature music by Nick Gutierrez. Pop-ups featuring Emily Piltaver, Synergy Art Studio and Michelle Parker’s Chi-cuterie from 5pm to 9pm
- Society 57, 100 S. River St. is open 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. for craft cocktails
- Hope Chest, 34 N. Lincoln Ave., will be open from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. with a store-wide sale and giveaways
- All spoken, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 10 will be hosting a pop-up with Grande Clam offering handmade Croc charms from chickens to plants, a selection of positive daily reminder stickers, vegan leather keychains and fun items . 6 p.m. to 9 p.m
- Undisputed Vintage, 14 W. Downer Pl. Ste 8 will be hosting a Keeping it Green pop-up from 5pm to 9pm. Shop for plants and hand-painted pots, as well as vintage clothing.
For more information visit www.auroradowntown.org.
About Aurora Downtown
Aurora Downtown is a nonprofit group of business and real estate owners within Special Service Area (SSA) One committed to a healthy and thriving downtown for all to enjoy. Learn more at auroradowntown.org.
Permission to use photos courtesy of Aurora Downtown.