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‘Aurora’ lights up the night in Palo Alto

By Sara Hayden and Naomi Elias | 20 Nov 2013

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“Who thinks that Aurora is very cool?” Mayor Scharff asked a crowd in downtown Palo Alto on the evening of Saturday, Nov. 16. Scharff and Palo Alto Superintendent Kevin Skelly were joined by scores of Peninsula residents who came out to witness the official lighting ceremony for Aurora, the buzzed-about installation piece by artist and Burning Man-veteran Charles Gadeken.

Mayor Scharff issued an official proclamation pronouncing Nov. 16 as “Aurora Day,” celebrating an installation that he says reflects Palo Alto’s community values of sustainability and entrepreneurship.

Scharff’s remarks come as the city ramps up its art scene.

“Palo Alto is not the capital of Silicon Valley,” Scharff said. “It is Silicon Valley.”

Before the 32-foot willow tree took center stage, participants enjoyed a live show from circus arts performers whose LED-based poi spinners mirrored the LED lights that line Aurora’s canopy. Local eateries provided food and wine.

The Aurora installation will remain in front of City Hall for the next year.

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