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Blues on the Fox opens new RiverEdge Park in Aurora

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Updated: June 16, 2013 2:18PM

As the gates were set to open at 6 p.m. Friday for the opening of the Blues on the Fox festival, which served as the new RiverEdge Park’s coming-out party, the ticketing computers went down.

That sent Aurora Civic Center Authority staffers back to the basics.

“We literally went back in time and did it manually,” Jim Jarvis, vice president of marketing and sales, said Saturday after the computers were back up. “We had some people who were unhappy with how long it took to get everyone in, but mostly people were really understanding about the whole thing.”

Headliner Dr. John, the New Orleans blues legend, played for two hours before a crowd of between 5,500 to 6,000 sitting on pavilion benches, in their own chairs or on blankets on the lawn.

On Saturday, Peter Dann and Jim Ellerby came all the way from Essex, England, outside London, to see Buddy Guy, the night’s headlining act. The two are on a week’s trip to Chicago to see blues music and came to Blues on the Fox after a night at the Kingston Mines in Chicago.

“This is just great,” Dann said. “And very inexpensive … a great deal.”

Courtney Peters, of Bolingbrook, and Heidi Heslinga, of Wheaton, loungedg on a blanket, listening to music and relaxing. They rode their bikes from Wheaton to RiverEdge Park.

“It’s very nice,” said Heslinga.

The park also scored points with 6-year-old Abraham and 11-year-old Deanna, who were running around, playing, and not paying so much attention to the music.

“It’s pretty awesome,” Deanna said.

RiverEdge’s lineup of summer concerts includes Loretta Lynn and Randy Travis, Peter Frampton’s and Trace Adkins.

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