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Jam on the Fox rocks downtown Aurora

Charlie Daniels jams Fox Saturday Aug. 18 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

Charlie Daniels jams on the Fox on Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012. | Donnell Collins~For Sun-Times Media

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Updated: September 20, 2012 6:12AM

Before the music even started on Saturday afternoon in downtown Aurora, sisters Carol Benjamin and Joan Dodson were ready to get down.

“We’ve been here since 2 p.m.,” Dodson said. “It’s a beautiful day for dancing.” And, dance she did, to the tunes of Red Woody, a local cover band that the sisters follow around the Fox Valley.

“They play songs that played when I was a teenager,” Dodson said before heading off for some afternoon grub.

“I like the 80s, and it’s nice to hear a good local band,” Benjamin added.

Red Woody kicked-off Jam on the Fox, the summer’s final Downtown Alive! event, held at North River Street Park, on River Street north of New York Street downtown. The music started at 2:30 p.m., and continued into the night featuring Heartsfield, The Georgia Satellites, and headliners The Charlie Daniels Band.

For a few lucky attendees, the night was a special one. For the first time ever, the Paramount hosted a raffled-off meet and greet with the night’s headliners. Two contest winners were to be chosen right before Daniels took the stage, and were invited back for a photo-op with the band.

“I thought it would be a great attraction; something nice to add to the event,” said Beth Sullivan, who was selling tickets for the Paramount. “Some artists will agree to it, and some won’t. But he was great. He thought it would be fun.”

Co-worker Katie Arko said she expected Saturday’s turnout to be a big one.

“People are really going to take advantage of the weather and try to wring out the last days of summer,” she said. “Tonight should be huge.”

Families shuffled in together, setting up chairs in the shade, and cowboy hats were becoming just as common as the baseball kind as the day wore on.

Sheila and Steve McCornack, of Aurora, were just one couple on Saturday’s Southern rock bandwagon.

They sipped on some drinks and soaked up some sun while waiting to see their favorite act of the night, The Georgia Satellites.

The band’s hit, “Keep Your Hands to Yourself,” brings back fond memories for the couple, Sheila said. She talked about seeing the group at the fairgrounds 20 years ago, and how the song was requested at their wedding.

“He didn’t keep his hands to himself,” she said with a giggle as she smiled at her husband. The couple saw Kenney White Sheppard play downtown a fear years ago, and were excited to be back.

“Aurora really needs something like this,” Sheila said. “You’ve gotta bring people in and keep them out of trouble.”

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