AURORA | The theme chosen for the 2013 celebration of Aurorafest was "Come Together."

And that's exactly what the village did.

The people of Aurora, and even some out-of-towners, joined together Saturday for the annual event, celebrating the village and all that it has to offer. To kick off the day's festivities, runners competed in a race that finished at Wells College on Main Street, followed by a swim competition in Cayuga Lake.

But for many of the festival goers, especially the children, the real fun started with the parade.

As the costumed parade participants rode down Main Street, being judged for a contest in the process, the adults cheered and laughed while the children scrambled to pick up as much of the candy being tossed at them as they could. Among that crowd was one family of four who makes it a point to never miss Aurorafest.

"I've been coming here since I was their age," said Brenda Bernhauer, as she pointed to her 4-year-old daughter, Melanie, and 7-year-old son, Lucas. "It's tradition."

Though the Bernhauers do not live in Aurora year-round, Brenda and her Husband, Ed, have a vacation house there where they spend the summers with their children. Bernhauer said that everyone in her family has different favorites about the festival each year, but her children always enjoy being in the water to fish and swim.

The festival also featured food, live music, games and activities such as a scavenger hunt and a pie eating contest.

"We do it for the fun of it and people really like it," said John Wedler, a member of the committee judging the parade costumes. "The point of it all is really to come to the village and have fun together, but we usually do that anyway."

At the end of the parade, families made their way over to nearby Court Street for hours more of fun activities geared toward visitors of all ages. As they walked, one committee member who judged the costume contest stood outside on a porch and directed the crowd where to go next for the next step in celebrating Aurora, making sure that no one would be able to miss the fun still in store.

"Just follow the smiles," he said."

Staff writer Kelsey Durham can be reached at 282-2237 or kelsey.durham@lee.net. Follow her on Twitter @CitizenDurham.

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