By PAUL DAILING
We all know the major cultural touchstones of Aurora, from the Tomcats-Blackhawks rivalry to “Wayne’s World,” but the feather in the municipal cap is its position as the second-largest city in Illinois.
With 171,782 residents, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates, Aurora beats out every town save Chicago.
But there’s a new census starting next month. What if, just what if we slip to No. 3? We took Rockford by surprise a few years back. Could it happen to us?
Let’s meet the competition, the state’s third, fourth and fifth biggest cities:
Aside from world-famous writer and raconteur Paul Dailing, the most famous things to come out of Rockford are Cheap Trick, the sock monkey and screws. Billions and billions of screws. Its biggest cultural moment was “A League of Their Own,” and its major industry now is collecting unemployment checks. Population: 157,272.