NORTH AURORA – “Here they come!”
The sirens could be heard long before the lights could be seen, as excited children squealed in anticipation of the North Aurora Days Emergency Vehicle Lights and Sirens Parade.
Lights blinked on and off in patriotic red, white and blue, while shrieking sirens and bone-rattling honks filled the air while onlookers filled Route 31 Friday night as part of the annual weekend festival that continues through Sunday.
Featured police and fire trucks were from all over. In addition to those from North Aurora, Batavia and Kane County, vehicles came from Bensenville, Wood Dale, Benedictine University, Hillside, Glen Ellyn, Darien, Hanover Township, Villa Park, DuPage and Kendall counties, Rib Lake, Wisconsin, as well as state patrol cars of Wisconsin, Missouri and Minnesota.
Vintage vehicles included fire trucks from the Aurora Regional Fire Museum and several from Chicago.
Families and other onlookers lined the streets waving and giving the thumbs up as drivers and passengers waved back.
“It’s a lot of fun for our kids,” said Lori Head of Leland. “They like the trucks, the lights and the sirens.”
She was there with her husband Don – who is originally from North Aurora – and sons Paul, 9 and David, 7; her sister-in-law Julie Ruiz and her daughter Grace, 7, of North Aurora; and her father-in-law Del Head.
“I like them as long as they’re not coming to my house,” Del Head said, laughing, about the lights and sirens parade.
Daniel Fabini of North Aurora came with his wife, Christina, and 3-year-old daughter Kayla.
“We like the parade,” Christina Fabini said. “And we like the Touch-a-Truck and Safety Day at Mooseheart on Saturday.”
Sarah and Michael Clark of North Aurora came with their daughter Lillian, 4, and Australian cattle dog Flynn.
Will the dog mind the sirens?
“We’ll find out,” Michael Clark said with a grin.
The parade drew videographers Jeff Ruhnke from Chicago and Casey McCallister from Muscatine, Iowa. They positioned themselves at Route 31 and John Street to video the whole parade and get each vehicle as it turned down John.
“I’m doing it because I like to go to big swap meets and see older equipment,” Ruhnke said.
Ruhnke said his video will be posted online at flicker.com/the_bjbuttons.
“I’m a fan,” McCallister said.
McCallister said his video will be posted online at Eastern Iowa Fireground Photos on Facebook.
A full schedule, including the lineup of bands, is available online at http://northauroradays.com.