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Neighbors of DuPage

New downtown Aurora festival brings vintage circus fun

DOWNTOWN AURORA - Octo Street Fest is a new fall festival on Saturday, Oct. 14 in downtown Aurora. Held behind New York Street’s Restaurant Row on Pinney Street, Octo Street Fest brings artists, musicians, and street performers together for an afternoon of wonder.

The new festival is unique and one-of-a-kind to downtown Aurora. It features the mystical, the magical, and the absurd. There won’t be any animals, but human performers will entertain with hula hoops, card readings, fire dance, and more.

“Aurora Downtown’s events committee wanted to create a new event that paired up with a Saturday in fall, and that could really show off another side of our arts scene. It's full of wonder. It's magical. It's dark. It's absurd and mystical. Mostly, it's entertaining and entirely downtown Aurora,” said Marissa Amoni, events and community outreach director for Aurora Downtown.

Octo Street Fest will also showcase the restaurants and businesses along Restaurant Row, including Basement of the Dead, Endiro Coffee, Ballydoyle, Gillerson’s Grubbery, and others.

Local artist Josh Schultz designed the event poster, which features an octopus wearing a top hat and holding a wand.

“Schultz came up with the octopus idea, and we liked what an octopus represents. It’s not only a play on words with it being a festival in October, but an octopus could be doing so many things with those eight arms. In downtown Aurora, we’re doing a lot with arts and culture, so it seemed to be a great fit,” Amoni said.

A dozen artists with a darker aesthetic are setting up along artist row, curated by Teresa Fiehn. Music by Brian Kovacs at 2 p.m., Luis and I at 4 p.m., and The Peachtree at 6 p.m. Katiepillar Performance Art performs throughout the day with a fire dance performance at 5 p.m.

Gillerson’s Grubbery is hosting a beer tent, and Ballydoyle will have its Irish Rover serving bratwursts and more. Endiro Coffee is hosting a children’s area on their patio.

Pinney Street will be closed to vehicular traffic for the event. Free parking is available in Lot W on River Street north of New York Street.

Octo Street Fest is from 2 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14 on Pinney Street in downtown Aurora.

Octo Street Fest is brought to you by Aurora Downtown, a nonprofit group of downtown business and property owners located in SSA #One in Aurora, Ill. For more information, visit