By Justin Adams

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – An annual celebration in Aurora brought music, dancing and smiles on Saturday.

“This is the day I think we all look forward to the most through the entire school year,” said Aurora Public Schools Public Information Officer Corey Christiansen.

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Aurora Public Schools put on their annual back to school kickoff event at the Town Center of Aurora. Students and their families tried their luck at a raffle spin, looked at magic tricks and worked on field hockey skills.

(credit: CBS)

“This is a celebration for our entire community. We have 38,000 students in our school district. I think most of them are here today,” Christiansen said.

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“Once the students get inside the mall, they are handed this sheet of paper. And this is so that they can find their teachers and also get free backpacks full of school supplies.”

“They’re set up to be able to have their students come get a backpack with some free school supplies, but also to be able to make that connection with the teachers, with the staff, and just put a face, especially if they are new to the area,” Christiansen said.

The face-to-face connection was missing last year. As the new school year starts next Thursday, events like Saturday’s helps reconnect the community one smile at a time.

“It’s the kids and seeing their smiling faces. They’re outside. They’re doing balloon art. They’re getting free meals,” said Town Center of Aurora General Manager Joel Boyd. “You see diversity. You see people getting along. You see people having a great time and that’s what it’s all about.”

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Aurora Public Schools will host several other COVID-19 vaccine clinics. The next one is on August 20th at Hinkley High School from 4-6 p.m.

Justin Adams