Archives for July 2012

DNA Awards Gala Goes “Prom Time”

Don your tuxes and gowns, tighten up your garters and cufflinks and pin on your date’s corsage or boutonnière. We’re taking downtown Elgin from prime time to “Prom time”!

The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Annual Awards Gala will be held on Thursday, October 11 from 6-9PM at the Grand Victoria Casino’s Fox River Room. The event is our opportunity to recognize the individuals, businesses and organizations from the community that make downtown Elgin a great place to live, work and enjoy. The DNA Awards Gala is not only our organization’s largest annual fundraiser but one of the biggest formal parties of the year in downtown Elgin! Did we say formal?

This year all of our Gala guests will be encouraged to dress in formal prom attire. We’ll even select a best dressed Prom King and Queen complete with prom court at the end of the night. For you prom fashionistas, you can even select whichever generation of prom you’d like to represent.

– Like the mustard yellow, ruffled tuxedo shirt with powder blue leisure suit jacket look of the 1970’s?
– How about the classic elegance of a Marilyn Monroe inspired wiggle dress of the 1950’s?
– Or maybe the signature puffyness of a 1980’s prom dress?

If you can pull off the look, you can wear it to our prom! Best of all, if you don’t have a prom dress we can help with that as well.

This year, the DNA is partnering with the YWCA Elgin on promoting their annual Cindy’s Super Sale event in the fall. A couple of weeks prior to the Gala, guests will be able to browse and shop for hundreds of prom dresses of all shapes, styles and sizes at rock bottom prices. There may even be a pre-Gala fashion show and other fun tie-ins so stay tuned as more details become available!

There will also be other prom-tastic activities including prom pictures, dancing to all your favorite prom tunes from over the years, and even a yearbook photo wall to see if you can guess which Elginites captained the football team, made the honor roll or were voted most likely to succeed.

As part of our fundraising efforts, the DNA is also selling 50/50 Awards Gala raffle tickets for $10 each. Although we would love to see you in attendance at the Gala, winners need not be present. The prize split is as follows:

1st Prize – 25% of the pot
2nd Prize – 15% of the pot
3rd Prize – 10% of the pot

To purchase your 50/50 Gala raffle tickets online, visit our DNA Gala Raffle Ticket Order Form.

Whether you bring your favorite prom date or just go stag, come have a ball and join us in celebrating downtown’s biggest and brightest stars on a Prom night to remember in our beautiful downtown at the 2012 DNA Awards Gala.

Tickets for the 2012 DNA Awards Gala are scheduled to go on sale Friday, August 10. Invites will be sent out to all current DNA members as well as 2011 Gala attendees. As always, DNA members receive a discounted rate on individual Gala tickets and sponsored tables. If you would like to be added to our Gala invite list, please e-mail DNA at

Sponsorship opportunities are also available. For more information about Gala sponsorships, please contact DNA Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski at (847) 488-1456 or visit our DNA Event Sponsorship Page.

EACVB Announces Rise in Economic Impact of Tourism

Elgin, IL – The Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (EACVB) is pleased to announce that the Ilinois tourism industry generated a record $31.8 billion in 2011, up 8.4 percent from a year ago. The increase of nearly $2.5 billion was fueled by a surge in leisure travel. The robust results mark the industry’s return to pre-recession levels and emphasizes the influential role tourism plays in fueling Illinois’ economic growth, creating jobs and providing additional tax revenue to the State. Travel expenditures here in Kane County totaled over $420 million, up almost 6% and over $205 million in McHenry County, up almost 7% from 2010.

“The tourism industry is a vital part of the Illinois economy, especially here in Kane and McHenry Counties”, said Kimberly Bless, President and CEO of the Elgin Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We are excited to see the rise in how much visitors are spending in our 12 communities as well as the amount of jobs that are supported by these visitors,” said Bless.

“The Elgin Area CVB works hard to focus on group and leisure business so these travelers fill our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop in our stores.  All this combined emphasizes our efforts to promote tourism here in the Northern Fox River. With the incredible attractions and accommodations here in the Elgin Area, it is no surprise that travel to our area continues to increase.”

Last year proved to be a record breaking year for the amount of tourists who visited the State of Illinois. In 2011, the state hosted 93.3 million visitors which increased from 2010 by 10.3%. The previous record was set in 2006 with 91 million visitors.

Tourism helps support over 4,000 jobs in Kane County and over 1,000 jobs in McHenry County. The state report also showed the industry created 4,490 jobs in 2011 increasing the tourism industry jobs overall to 291,990.

“We continue to develop innovative ways to encourage visitors to travel to Illinois, building on the growth that points to overall recovery of the tourism industry,” said Jan Kostner, deputy director of the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunitys Office of Tourism.


Media Contact:

Elgin Area Convention and Visitors Bureau
77 Riverside Drive
Elgin, IL 60120
(800) 217-5362 or (847) 695-7540

Fountain Square Parking Lot Striping This Wednesday

Weather permitting, the City of Elgin will be painting new stripes on the parking structure through the portico of the Fountain Square building, 50 S. Grove Avenue on Wednesday, August 1 from 9AM-3PM. Parking in this lot will not be allowed during the work, but should be complete for overnight parking.

Alternative free parking during this time includes street parking (please obey street parking time limits), the two parking lots to the north of the building accessible via Riverside Drive, and the two free parking decks at Spring Street as well as Fulton Street.

Volunteers Needed For Elgin’s MLK Celebration Planning Committee

The City of Elgin and the Human Relations Commission are looking for volunteers to participate in the planning for the 2013 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration. Over the past 27 years, this celebration has been conducted by volunteers and has grown to include a Friday Night Gospel Talent Kick-off, a Saturday Morning Prayer Breakfast, a Sunday Public Program, and a Monday Day of Service and Youth Leadership Conference.

The Saturday Morning Prayer Breakfast is designed to recognize individuals in Elgin who have relentlessly advocated against discrimination and promoted civil rights for, an inclusion of, all community members. The committee recognizes these individuals, nominated by their peers, with a Humanitarian Award.

The Sunday Public Program is intended to recognize children and young adults who depict the teaching and philosophy of Dr. King through artwork or an essay. The committee recognizes these individuals through scholarship awards.

The Monday Day of Service and Youth Leadership Conference is dedicated to expose the teachings of Dr. King to our youth and provide nutritious and balanced meals for the Elgin food pantries through a community food drive.

If you are interested participating in the planning or helping the planning committee to secure funds for any of these events please contact Barb Keselica at (847) 531-7056 or

Pub Crawl Comes Crawling Back to Downtown Elgin

On Saturday, August 18 from 7PM-Midnight, the Downtown Neighborhood Association invites you to get your crawl on at the association’s annual Downtown Elgin Pub Crawl.

This year’s Pub Crawl features nine participating downtown Elgin bars including:

The AfterSet, 158 Symphony Way
Douglas Street Sports Pub, 231 Douglas Avenue
Eaton’s Redwood Inn, 118 W. Chicago Street
Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago Street
Gasthaus, 15 N. Grove Avenue
Martini Room, 161 E. Chicago Street
Prairie Rock Grill, 127 S. Grove Avenue
Prime BurgerHouse, 250 S. Grove Avenue inside Grand Victoria Casino
Villa Verone, 13 Douglas Avenue

Pub Crawl Passports will be available for $10 on the night of the event or purchase passports in advance online for only $7 beginning Friday, July 27 at

Crawlers who obtain passport punches at 7 of the 9 participating venues are eligible to win a $500 cash prize. Winner to be announced on Wednesday, August 22.

Volunteers will also be selling 50/50 DNA Gala raffle tickets at each venue. The 50/50 drawing will be held on October 11. Winners need not be present.

The DNA is actively seeking volunteers to man tables in front of the bars and help with set up and take down for the Pub Crawl. For more about Pub Crawl volunteer opportunities, call Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski at (847) 488-1456 or

Open for Business Ribbon Cuttings: Something Old, Something New

This past April the Downtown Neighborhood Association conducted Open for Business, a series of progressive ribbon cuttings in one afternoon to welcome eight new businesses to downtown Elgin.

On Friday, July 27 not only will we be officially welcoming one of our newest businesses but celebrating one of our most tenured businesses as well at Open for Business: Something Old, Something New.

This new set of progressive ribbon cuttings begins at 4:30PM in front of Central Barber Shop, 172 E. Chicago Street. We invite you to join us in congratulating owner Jerry Newman and Central Barber Shop on their 50th anniversary in business in downtown Elgin.

Then at 5PM the festivities continue as we roll out the welcome mat for our newest downtown neighbors, Soulful Sparrow at 10 Douglas Avenue. In addition to the ribbon cutting, there will also be refreshments and discount specials available on co-owner Mary Pierce and Judy Walsberg’s unique treasures.

DNA board members and other City of Elgin dignitaries will be on hand to facilitate the ribbon cuttings and support our local businesses. We invite and encourage the community to attend and celebrate these beloved downtown businesses – both old and new!

Promote Your Elgin Events on DNA Events Calendar

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin recently launched its new website complete with a brand new Elgin Events Calendar. Now we invite you to share and promote your business or organization’s Elgin events with us using the form below:

DNA Elgin Events Calendar Submission Form

As part of their yearly membership benefits, DNA Downtown Retail/Service/Non-Profit and Community Business Members receive a total of 3 FREE listings and Downtown Restaurant/Bar and Corporate Members receive a total of 6 FREE listings now through the end of 2012 to promote your business or organization’s events. Members can also purchase additional calendar listings at $15 per listing ($30 per listing for non-members).


$15 per event (DNA Members)
$30 per event (non DNA Members)

$25 per ongoing weekly or monthly event (DNA Members)
$50 per ongoing weekly or monthly event (non DNA Members)

DNA will e-mail you an invoice upon approval of your submission (see disclaimer below for more details about the approval process). Submissions will be posted upon receipt of payment. Acceptable forms of payment are check, money order and credit cards. Credit card payments can be taken over the phone at 847-488-1456.


– Event must take place in Elgin, Illinois – NO EXCEPTIONS!
– Must be an event with a definitive start and end time
– Discount retail/restaurant promotions are not considered events (i.e. 10% off all merchandise this day only)
– Events taking place over a period of consecutive days will be considered one event (Weekend festival)
– Events taking place over consecutive weeks at the same venue in the same timeframe will also be considered one event (i.e. Two weekend engagement of a theatrical performance or musical)
– Events taking place over 2 or more consecutive weeks would be considered an ongoing event and would be charged accordingly.


All event submissions are subject to approval by DNA staff. Review and approval process can take up to 3 business days. DNA reserves the right to reject any submitted event at its own discretion and without explanation. DNA staff reserves the right to edit any and all listing content at its discretion. DNA staff is not responsible for errors in dates, times, contact information or content provided by users. Any questions should be directed to DNA Promotions Coordinator Jason Pawlowski at (847) 488-1456.

Parade People’s Choice Award Winner Announced

The votes are in and the people have spoken loudly and proudly. The winner of the 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health People’s Choice Award is Spring Hill Gymnastics.

They will receive a plaque and will be recognized along with their fellow 4th Parade Float Contest winners, Danny’s Pizza and People That Make Patriotic Floats, at the Elgin City Council meeting on Wednesday, July 25.

Congratulations to Spring Hill Gymnastics and thank you to everyone who cast their ballots in the Elgin 4th Parade People’s Choice Award voting.

If you missed any of the City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health, the rebroadcast of the parade can be seen all month long on Channel 17 in Elgin on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 2PM and Saturdays at 6PM.

Elgin Image Commission Recognition Program Taking Nominees

Elgin’s Image Commission is seeking nominations for their annual Recognition Awards. Individuals must be deceased at least ten years and have made a significant contribution in Professional Architecture, Communications, Education, The Arts, Science/Medicine, Government/Public Service, Military Service, Volunteerism, or Business.

“There are nine different categories in which someone can be nominated,” said Image Commission Chairperson, Tricia Dieringer. “There are many different ways that people could have contributed to our community or shared their gifts with the world. The Image Commission wants to honor these individuals who made significant contributions to Elgin or beyond during their lifetime.”

Individuals must have a direct tie to Elgin; born and raised in Elgin and made a significant local contribution; born and raised in Elgin and made a significant contribution elsewhere; or born and raised outside of Elgin but made a significant local contribution.

Categories for individual consideration are:

Professional Architecture:  This category will honor an architect who has created an exceptional building or public space.

Communications:  The category will recognize any person who has made an impact within the communications field – authors, broadcast journalists, filmmakers, printer journalists or the like.

Education:  This category will honor an individuals who have made a significant impact as a teacher, principal or administrator or has succeeded in providing greater access to education for all.

The Arts:  This category will recognize an individual who has made a significant impact in the performing or visual arts.

Government/Public Service:  This category will honor an individual who has made a significant impact as a Council or staff person within the City of Elgin government or as a representative or senator in state or federal government.

Military: This category will honor an individual who has made a significant impact as a member of the military.

Volunteerism:  This category will recognize an individual who has donated an extraordinary amount of time and effort to help promote a worthy cause inside or outside of Elgin.

Business:  This category will honor an individual who has established a positive commercial or industrial entity inside or outside of Elgin.

Nomination forms are available on the city website, or at City Hall reception desk.  Completed nomination forms must be returned no later than September 7, 2012. Winners will be announced in November.

For more information contact Barb Keselica, Staff Liaison to the Image Commission, at (847) 531-7056.

Vote Now for the Elgin 4th Parade People’s Choice Award

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the 2012 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Sherman Health. Now its time for you to put yourself in our parade judges’ shoes and select your favorite 2012 parade entry for the People’s Choice Award.

The judging criteria is entirely up to you! It could be the entry you feel best exemplified this year’s theme of “Red, White and Food”. It could be the most entertaining entry, most patriotic, most uniquely Elgin…it’s entirely up to you!


Only one vote per valid e-mail address. Votes with bogus e-mail addresses will be invalid. To help garner support for your favorite People’s Choice pick, tell your friends and family to get out and rock the vote as well.

Voting for the 2012 People’s Choice Award ends Friday, July 13 at 5PM. Winner will be announced Monday, July 16 and will be recognized with a plaque at a future City Council Meeting.

Happy voting!