Aurora’s ‘strategic plan’ calls for focus on annual Festivals

The Fossil Festival parade always attracts a large crowd.

By Sharon Holland

The ‘Water Tower Christmas Tree’ in December 2021 was
a community-wide effort!

AURORA — The Town of Aurora adopted its Strategic Plan in April 2022, which laid out its goals and priorities for the next two years. The document is the first of its kind for Aurora and is the result of seven months of effort that included surveys, dialogue with community stakeholders, and input from local, county and state officials. 

Four key lines of effort were identified in the plan to guide the council’s future planning:   1) develop the economy; 2) improve education; 3) provide good governance; and 4) invest in the community.

Over the next two years, the Town will focus on the 24 key tasks and new initiatives outlined under those four lines of effort  Several are already underway including tourism development through three major Town-approved events each year:  the North Carolina Fossil Festival in May, the Aurora Fish and Farm Festival, in October, and Christmas in Aurora in December. 

The North Carolina Fossil Festival is planned and hosted by the Aurora Fossil Museum and takes place each year over the Memorial Day weekend. The event draws visitors from all over the country who are lured by their interests in paleontology, science, and family fun. The weekend activities include movie and game night, a BBQ fundraiser by the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, a 5K race, parade, silent and live auctions, nonprofit organization displays, entertainment, and food and craft vendors. Other activities include a nighttime glow party, Dinosaur show, loads of children’s activities, fossil displays, and of course – digging for fossils! 

For more information, visit them on Facebook at 

Christmas in Aurora was relaunched in 2021 by the Aurora Richland Township Chamber of Commerce with three days of activities that run from Friday night through Sunday afternoon. Events range from the water tower tree/star lighting, Christmas carols, a walk down the luminaria-lit Main Street, hot cocoa and s’mores, storytelling at the library, a two-day artisan and crafters fair at the Community Center, and a BBQ fundraiser at the Aurora Volunteer Fire Department, culminating in a parade down Main Street, complete with Santa Claus. Mark your calendars for this year’s holiday fun days:  December 9-11, 2022.  Visit the Chamber’s website at or their Facebook page at 

The newest addition to Aurora’s festivities is the Aurora Fish and Farm Festival, which will be held October 22-23, to shine a spotlight on the waterfront, agriculture and aquaculture heritage of the town and surrounding Richland Township. Over the course of the two days, events will include a fishing tournament, a Bike-to-Farm tour on Sunday which will take cyclists on a 30-mile circuit with stops at a number of the area’s growers and fish farms; a street fair with commercial vendors, artisans and crafters, and educational institutions that tie into the celebration’s theme. The U.S. Coast Guard Hobucken will be among the static boat displays, and there will be children’s activities including games, a hay maze, and petting zoo; child and adult tractor pulls; vintage cars and tractors on display.  Visit the old Aurora jail and get your photo taken in the original cell, or stop by our entertainment stage and enjoy the sounds of music throughout the weekend. Anyone interested in being a sponsor, donor or vendor can visit the Festival’s website at for more information, or the Facebook page at