In her book Aurora Memories and More, Elizabeth Milner wrote about Aurora Town Park: “When I was growing up in Aurora and I said I was going to the park my words meant only one place – the park on Wells Street across from the high school. This was the place where everything took place, which gathered the people in town together.”
When we say to Matthew lets go to the park, Matthew’s response is ‘which one Mom?‘, and since I told him there are over 35 playgrounds in Aurora now he want’s to visit them all. When we take Matthew to the Aurora Town Park we need to be more specific.
For us Aurora Town Park is exactly what Milner describes in her book. It is a gathering place as we often meet up with friends we know or regulars. For Matthew in the summer Town Park means playing in the playground, the famous splash pad, running in the soccer fields, dancing to the music, buying popcorn, rainbow cookies and lollipops. All this happening during the Aurora Farmers Market season.
“In the fall of 1922, the Aurora Horse Shows began in the Town Park. Those early shows must have been small, rural events that were very important. … By the 1950’s the Horse Show had changed. A midway had been introduced and the event was now called “the fair.” Light horse competitions were becoming more important than the work horse competitions.”
No more horse competitions at the Aurora Town Park but we do have music in the park and dance in the park often well attended. In the winter we have Family Day that is always well attended as well despite the cold freezing weather. These are our modern fairs today at the Town Park and that is what we and our children will remember.
“The Town Park was always the place for sports“, and still is.
There is a lot of history behind the scenes of the Aurora Town Park and most of us didn’t even know. The park looks modern today and who would have guessed.
There are only a few books available about Town of Aurora. Aurora Memories and More written by Elizabeth Milner is one of them released in 2013 and only couple hundred copies released. The book is available from Aurora Historical Society at the Hillary House National Historic Site for those who would like to find out more about our town.
Anna Lozyk Romeo