Aurora’s Wayne’s World celebration idea met with “yes” attitude

Jen Rauch had the idea to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Wayne’s World in a big way. The party starts on Feb. 3 in Aurora.

I don’t often get nervous when I email someone. But the other day when I replied to Penelope Spheeris, I probably put way too much thought into it. Spheeris is the director of Wayne’s World.


I’m an admirer. Not only is she among the (too) small group of female directors, but she directed The Decline of Western Civilization, an amazing documentary following the punk rock scene in the late 1970s.


Spheeris reached out after she heard about Aurora’s six-month long 25th anniversary celebration of Wayne’s World after a local story was picked up by national press. Spheeris wants to be part of the head banging event at RiverEdge Park before the fireworks on July 4. She called it a “really fun, once in a lifetime experience.”


Ever since, I’ve been busy fielding phone calls and emails from not just national press, but from many local businesses who want to partner in the celebration.


Everyone is excited about Wayne’s World.


It all started with a big idea, of course. Most things do. Everyone has ideas. That’s another given. But when Jen Rauch, who co-owns If These Walls Could Talk, had the idea of making a really big to-do over the anniversary of Wayne’s World, she heard applause and received encouragement.


That’s what is turning around downtown Aurora right now. It’s that can-do attitude. It’s the likes of David Karademas and Kevin Fitzpatrick who purchase properties and improve them. It’s the downtown business owners like Mike Mancuso and Emily Beau who work tirelessly to not only grow their businesses but to improve to the community.


It’s that “yes” attitude. It’s that energy that keeps going even when naysayers are loud or the reality of a bottomline looms. It’s that big picture thinking.


I’m excited to roll out the red carpet if and when Ms. Spheeris attends Aurora’s Fourth of July activities. I would be honored to show her around and brag about our beautiful and thriving downtown. The downtown that boasts amazing, historic architecture as well as gorgeous mid-century buildings. And the downtown flanked by a river that holds that can-do, positive attitude of those that work towards improving it every day, like Rauch.


Perhaps downtown has a few vacant buildings. It’s a downtown, like many others, that will always be in need of a little extra love. But our downtown is a success story. It’s the successes of the Paramount’s Broadway shows, the crowded streets on First Fridays, the filled tables at downtown restaurants, and the new businesses opening up that are the reality of downtown right now.


Our downtown is moving forward. I have an email from a Hollywood director to prove it.
Marissa Amoni does better with “yes” than “no” and is ready to party on with Aurora from Feb. 3 to July 4. To learn about the many Wayne’s World events planned for Party On! 25 Years of Wayne’s World, visit

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