Archives for October 2013

Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland


The 15th Annual Downtown Elgin Window Wonderland was a wonderful event that brought hundreds of visitors to downtown Elgin on Saturday, December 7, 2013. The theme of this year’s event was “Holiday Traditions Around the World – Celebrating the Sights, Sounds, and Scents of the Season!”  And individuals, business and organizations put their holiday heart and souls into the creativity of their windows to fit the theme!
At this year’s Window Wonderland, downtown Elgin was the destination for Santa’s Crew with Santa’s real live reindeer, the Elgin Police Department’s Open House, Ice Skating at City Skate, decorating cookies and roasting of chestnuts at local businesses, holiday Musical Musings by Dave Newton Music, horse drawn carriage rides, Window Wonderland Photo Scavenger Hunt – sponsored by Elgin 360 Photography, the traditional visit with Santa at Elgin Public House and so much more that made the holiday season bright and cheerful in downtown Elgin!
And we are happy to announce the 2013 Window Wonderland window decorating contest winners:  The People’s Choice Award (determined by Facebook likes and paper ballots) goes to:
for the Business Category:  Roy Vombrack who used Steffen & Kelly, P.C.’s window as a canvas at 17 Douglas Avenue and in the Open Category:  Little Angels took top spot who used the Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce’s windows as their painting board.  The overall winner, determined by a panel of judges, was the YWCA Elgin, who decorated their own windows.  Thank you to all of those who participated and voted, and Congrats to this year’s Window Wonderland recipients!  And the DNA also thanks, Kari Christensen of Elgin, IL who was the 2013 Window Wonderland Chairperson!   Please visit the DNA’s Facebook page to see all the pictures of this year’s decorated windows – or better yet, visit downtown Elgin, and see them in real time for yourselves!

2013 Small Business Saturday was a Success!

circle sbsPlease continue to show your support to local shops, businesses and restaurants by always shopping local!

When you spend money in downtown Elgin, those dollars spent at the locally-owned businesses have three times the impact on your community as dollars spent at national chains. When shopping locally, you simultaneously create jobs, fund more city services through sales tax, invest in neighborhood improvement and promote community development…all that with just a simple purchase!

Also, business owners – please let us know if you have specials, events, or just some good to news to share so we can help drive consumers to your business.


Retro-a-GoGo Cash Mob

Retro-aGoGo_finalOn Thursday, November 14th from 5-6pm there will be a Cash Mob held at Retro-a-Gogo, 225 E. Chicago Street.

Stop by and see their unique vintage and retro items in their original state as well as an occasional vintage and retro item that has been refinished, redone or repurposed!

Here’s how a Cash Mob works:
1. Show up at Retro-a-Gogo, 5-6 on Thursday November 14th.
2. Invite all your friends via social media, word of mouth, Pony Express, Morse Code… whatever!
3. All participating Cash “Mobsters” agree to spend a minimum of $20 at Retro-a-GoGo… $20 for a unique gift for yourself (you deserve it!) or even a friend, will go a long way!
4. Spend the $20 and your name will be entered into a DNA Gift Certificate raffle drawing!

Start your holiday shopping early…You are sure to find that unique and fun gift from Retro-a-GoGo!

FallBack Arts Festival 2013

1383628_10202056417150347_147426081_nBy recognizing the annual ritual of turning back time, the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission encourages members of the community to immerse themselves in the arts, and take the time to participate in a workshop and connect with their artistic side. If you were ever interested in trying something new or further developing your skills as an artist, there are a variety of events available. The events are led by leading artists in their field and are easily accessible to everyone. All events are …free unless otherwise noted.
To register for workshops, go to


9 am – 12 pm: THE INTRGRATED PERFORMER with John Tovar and M.A.C.E. – FREE Hemmens Cultural Center (mainstage), 45 Symphony Way, Elgin; Come with comfortable clothes and be ready to move!

9:30 am – 12 pm: WHEN A DRAGON MOVES IN! A CHILDREN’S ART WORKSHOP with Rita Cochran – FREE Side Street Studio Arts, 15 Ziegler Court, Elgin; Come with: Comfortable clothing
How much fun would it be to have your very own dragon? Students, ages 6 to 12 can create their own rendition of a mischievous dragon. After listening to the story “When a DRAGON moves in” students are guided step by step though the process of creating a dragon sculpture with colorful self-drying clay.

10 am – 1:30 pm: LANDSCAPE PASTEL TECHNIQUES with Susan Henshaw – FREE Hemmens Cultural Center (lower level), 45 Symphony Way, Elgin;  Come with: Basic set of Pastels, paper towel and a reference photo

10 am – 2pm: SEEING THROUGH A DIFFERENT LENSE with Susan McConnell – FREE The Art of Photography & Editing Hemmens Cultural Center (lower level), 45 Symphony Way;  Come with: A camera, walking shoes, and weather-appropriate attire
Susan McConnell, an award-winning photographer/artist whose work is in several public collections and published in magazines across the country, will lead workshop participants through an interactive photography class that will include photo editing.   Have You Seen Elgin Like This? Each student will have his/her photos featured on a newly created Website called, “Have You Seen Elgin Like This?”

1 pm – 3pm: CREATIVE NON-FICTION writing with Eric Burns – FREE Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division Street, 8th Floor, Elgin;  Come with: An excerpt from one of your current projects
Eric Burns, former NBC News correspondent and winner of several major writing awards in three genres, will lead this workshop for writers who wish to improve their non-fiction abilities.

2 pm – 5pm: UNARMED STAGE COMBAT with John Tovar and M.A.C.E. – FREE Hemmens Cultural Center (mainstage), 45 Symphony Way, Elgin;  Come with: comfortable clothes and be ready to move
A class for anyone with a passion for the performing arts! Come learn the most popular and commonly used unarmed techniques in theatre.  From pushes, falls, hair-pulls, and more, the class will focus on safety and good partnering skills while creating the illusion of violence. This class will be taught by award-winning Fight Director John Tovar and Rachel Stubbs.

2  pmWHY ART MATTERS: THE STATE OF CREATIVITY with Randy Cohen – Randy Cohen, Vice President of Research and Policy at Americans for the Arts, the nation’s advocacy organization for the arts in Washington D.C. will head up a FREE  Town Hall discussion about the arts & economic prosperity at the Gail Borden Library in the Elgin Room. Make sure you attend this sections with a vision for Elgin and good questions!  Mr. Cohen will be joined by Sean Hargadon, chairman of the City of Elgin’s Cultural Arts Commission, to share insightful information about the impact of the arts in the City of Elgin.


3 pm: SOIREE LYRIQUE: Solange Sior in Recital – SUGGESTED DONATION Elgin Art Showcase, 164 Division Street, 8th Floor A musical performance

To register for the workshops, please go to or
For more information, contact Sean Hargadon at or visit

Downtown Elgin Shred Event

future link it logo


Helping Elgin go GREEN

Over the years, Future Link IT has been helping you protect your electronic data and keeping it secure.  Now Future Link IT would like to help you securely destroy your paper data and protect you and your customers from identity theft by sponsoring a Downtown Elgin Shred Event.

What: Downtown Elgin Shred Event

When: October 23rd From 11-2

Where: Downtown Elgin – South West Corner of Kimball St and Grove Ave in the old library parking lot.  (Home of the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Harvest Market)

Businesses and individuals will be able to drive up and drop of any paper they would like to have shredded.  It will be shredded on the spot in a commercial shred truck and then recycled, keeping your personal or customer data protected.  There are no limits to how many boxes of paper that you can bring, however, if the truck gets filled before 2pm, the event is done.

Sponsored by:  Future Link IT     Lifeline Plumbing      Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance Agency       Steffen Law, P.C.        Mason CPA Tax & Accounting

For more information, contact Future Link IT at 224-523-8063 or the Downtown Neighborhood Association at 847-488-1456.



EPH Presents: Oktoberfest Dinner Pairing

ephGoldElgin Public House at 219 E. Chicago St. will be hosting an Oktoberfest Dinner Pairing on Tuesday, October 22nd. Come out and enjoy some authentic German food, great drinks and a friendly atmosphere.

The reception starts at 6:30pm. It is $45 dollars per person plus tax and gratuity. To see the full menu and information, click here.

Haunted Elgin: Spooky Houses & Cemeteries

elginlogoElgin Community Network presents its next Elgin Alive event, Haunted Elgin: Spooky Houses, Cemeteries, and Zombies Galore!

Come to the Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove on Tuesday, October 15 from 7-8:45 pm for stories about Elgin that are sure to haunt your dreams.

Lynyrd Skynyrd + John Kay & Steppenwolf

Join Grand Victoria Casino in Festival Park, 132 S. Grove on Saturday, October 13 for another Rock ‘N Roll Jackpot Concert featuring legendary bands Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Kay & Steppenwolf. Doors for this show open at 4 pm. John Kay & Steppenwolf get your motor running at 5:30 pm, while Lynyrd Skynyrd rocks the house starting at 7:30 pm.

Tickets start at $25 each. Buy your tickets today!

Nightmare on Chicago Street Tickets Available Now!

Elgin’s Signature Halloween event, Nightmare on Chicago Street tickets are now available! Tickets are available at the DNA or online. To contact the DNA, call 847-488-1456 or you may order the tickets online here.

Tickets pre-ordered are only $7, otherwise they are $10 at the gate. This event will take place on Saturday, Oct. 26th.

Ticket admits one adult. 17 & younger will not be admitted without a parent/guardian. Weapons of any kind will not be admitted into the safe zone.

For more information, see