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Parade entertains in North Aurora

NORTH AURORA – At Walnut Drive and Oak Street, brothers Toby and Matthias Wright had a prime parade-watching spot Sunday.

The boys – 2 and 5, respectively – were just blocks from where the North Aurora Community Parade stepped off, making them among the first spectators to get a shot at the candy parade participants had ready to toss to the crowds.

As the fifth annual event neared its end, the boys had amassed a pile of Twizzlers, Tootsie Rolls, Smarties and, among other sweets, Dum Dums that lay next to their mother, Alissa Wright.

"I think we're going to share it with our cousins," the North Aurora woman said.

This was the first year Wright brought her sons to the parade – an event they worried they would miss because of grocery shopping earlier that day, she said.

"They're so excited," Wright said.

Organized by the North Aurora Mothers Club, the parade stepped off at 3 p.m. at Clock Tower Plaza on the corner of Randall Road and Oak Street and proceeded east on Oak Street before ending at North Aurora Island Park on the riverfront.

More than 40 units were scheduled to participate, including such new entries as "Star Wars" characters and the Jesse White Tumbling Team.

Onlookers near Oak Street and Juniper Drive urged the tumbling team to stop and were rewarded with a brief demonstration.

Nearby, Megan Liden, 10, manned a table outside her home facing Oak Street, selling cold water, pop and snow cones. She had been selling refreshments earlier in the week when someone suggested she try her luck with the parade, she said.

But most people seemed rooted to the patch of grass they chose to watch the parade from. Many created their own shade with umbrellas while others – like Valerie Sabatino – ducked under trees.

Sabatino, who was with Parker, 3, and dog, Josie, said the parade offered something to do on a Sunday afternoon within walking distance of their home.

Parker loves all the trucks, she said, and Josie howls at all the loud noises.

"Free entertainment," she said, "got to love it."

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