Aurora looks to reopen full-capacity events beginning in mid-June

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Downtown Aurora is pretty quiet, with few people out and many businesses closed. But Aurora's mayor is hoping to change that starting in a little more than two weeks.

"Get out, have some fun. We are activating Aurora," Mayor Richard Irvin said. He said the city is poised to begin reopening on June 11. That's good news for many, including the Paramount Theatre.

The stage and seats have been dark and quiet for more than a year. The more than 270 employees have been reduced to 14 part-time. But there is now a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. Jim Jarvis, the marketing director for the theater said, "We need everybody's support to get 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." That 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 big name concerts in recent years. The mayor said those concerts will return starting next month as well.

Carina Mendoza said she is looking forward to getting out, and so is her family, which owns restaurants and food trucks that depend on large events.

"The fact we get to come back out and start working is great. We will be back with the community," said Mendoza.

The mayor said he's optimistic the city will be able to reopen as planned. He says Aurora is on track with the state's metrics for reopening, but ultimately, more people need to get vaccinated.

"If we want a joyful June and July, we need to continue getting vaccinated," Irvin said.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.