City says no to Rock 'N Aurora at Baldwin Park

Lee Ann Murphy
Community Editor

An event planned to celebrate Aurora's 150 years has been moved and the date changed after the city council rescinded earlier permission to hold Rock 'N Aurora at Baldwin Park in two weeks.

Members of the Aurora Historical Society have been planning Rock 'N Aurora for the past year and until last week, had the cooperation of city officials.

Aurora City Manager Jon Holmes notified the group that the city council met in special session to rescind both the permit and support for Rock 'N Aurora. The decision to halt the event included all city parks in Aurora.

According to reports, concerns were increasing that the event had the potential to draw a significantly larger crowd than originally anticipated. Worries that the event could be difficult for local resources to manage adequately. Possible protests and coronavirus were cited as the main issues.

Aurora Chief of Police Richard Witthuhn shared advisories that the local police department has received about the potential for protests related to the death of George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter group. Large crowds could draw protestors. Rising coronavirus case numbers over the past week statewide also factored into the decision and the ability to maintain social distancing due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic was questioned.

In a statement shared via social media, the City of Aurora said: "The City Council regrets that this decision had to be made but believes that the best interests of the community and the City as an organization are served by this decision at this time. Concerns about rising coronavirus cases in the state also factored into the decision.

Rock 'N Aurora will still be held but the dates have been changed to Friday, July 10 and Saturday, July 11 at the Eagles Club in Aurora. The same line-up of bands will be held with some scheduling changes. New posters and tickets are now in process. Previously purchased tickets will still be honored.

Another event also planned this month at Baldwin Park will be held as planned. Aurora Chamber of Commerce sponsored Light The Night fireworks display will be held. Baldwin Park will open at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. Options for those who attend to stay in their cars will be made for fireworks viewing. Marked spaces for family and friends to sit outside while maintaining social distancing will also be available. Those who attend are asked to bring their own seating, lawn chairs and blankets. A cooler with snacks and drinks may be brought but no alcohol is allowed in the park and no pets are allowed.

Rock 'N Aurora will take place July 10 and 11 at The Eagles Club, located at 18896 Lawrence 2185, Aurora. All proceeds will go to benefit the historical society.