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Aurora -- The city's July 4 celebration was "great hometown fun," according to Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin, "from the morning runs to the parade and festival to the fireworks at dusk. There were large crowds out to enjoy the day's many activities."
Womer Benjamin said she particularly enjoyed the parade, which she walked in with her family, and the frog jumping contest, which has been named in honor of the late former mayor Ric Mattmuller. "It was quite entertaining to watch frogs of all sizes being cajoled by anxious owners to jump," she said.
She praised the city's parks and recreation department staff, led by Jim Kraus, with assistance from Aurora's service department, led by John Trew, for planning and launching "a flawless holiday celebration."
"Safety forces kept everyone safe and secure, and we were all fortunate that the weather was perfect," she said. "A visitor from Arizona told me that his community craves this kind of old-fashioned event, which it does not have.
"Aurora really combines many modern amenities and services with a small hometown atmosphere thanks to the wonderful people who live and work here."
Colleen Martin, community events coordinator for the parks and rec department, said there were 63 entries in the parade. "Vendors I spoke with seemed pleased," she said. "A lot of people were saying the fireworks were the best ever."
Parade judges were Jane Spencer, Council reps Denny Kovach and Amy McDougald and former Councilman Bob Galaska Jr.
Parade winners were:
Schools -- Harmon cheerleaders; (honorable mention) Aurora High School marching band; businesses -- World Champion Martial Arts; (honorable mention) Platinum Real Estate; non-profits -- Christ Community Chapel; (honorable mention) Church of Aurora; most patriotic -- Young Explorers Montesoi School; (honorable mention) Freedom Greyhound Rescue; community / neighborhood -- Four Seasons; (honorable mention) Walden.
Phone: 330-541-9400 ext. 4187
Twitter: Mike Lesko@MikeLesko_RPC