Broadway businesses hire artists to brighten the holiday season
Clara Diaz wanted to bring a little extra something to Broadway for the holidays. The four-lane thoroughfare in downtown Aurora features dozens of shops including Diaz’ Balderas Beauty Salon.
“We want to do something special,” said Diaz about the decision to not only bring Santa to a few shops during the month of December, but to also hire artists to paint about 16 storefronts along Route 25 from Benton to New York streets.
Diaz is working with a growing group of Broadway business owners to make Broadway the business district that it once was and that they believe it can be again with a little help.
The business owners have met monthly with the assistance of Aurora Downtown, a non-profit group of business and property owners in downtown.
The businesses, including La Quinta de los Reyes, PME Cake Decorating, Delgado Jewelry, and about 20 others, discuss traffic, parking, lighting, events, holiday decorations, and more.
This year, Aurora Downtown board member and streetscape committee chair Gina Salamone ordered hundreds of string lights for the trees along Broadway, which the city installed prior to the Winter Lights event on Nov. 17.
Diaz said that funding from a few Aurora alderpersons is helping to decorate the storefronts. Three artists are currently working with Invest Aurora and the city of Aurora to get inside vacant buildings along Broadway in order to paint the windows for the holidays.
Artist Lita Lu is working with local artist Jose Art on the window paintings.
“We need to show that creative side of this city,” Lu said.
The Broadway businesses hope that the windows can continue to be decorated year round with an emphasis on seasonal holidays.
As for Santa, he’ll be visiting businesses on Broadway from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first three Saturdays in December. Children are invited to take a photo with Santa and participate in a fun activity. The event is free, but optional activities might be offered for a fee.
Santa will visit 24 N. Broadway on Dec. 2; PME Cake Decorating, 35 N. Broadway on Dec. 9; and SeguroMex Insurance, 31 S. Broadway on Dec. 16.
For more information, visit Aurora Downtown on Facebook or at www.auroradowntown.org.