walking tour icon

Experience the magnificence and historic charm of Elgin’s unique downtown by taking this walk through the “Elgin Downtown Commercial District”. 

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin IL‘s Design Committee is committed to the historical preservation of downtown Elgin. In December, 2014, the DNA achieved recognition for downtown Elgin, on the National Register of Historical Places.

Now in 2016, the DNA’s Design Committee, along with the Elgin History Museum, Gail Borden Public Library and community members, have created the “Downtown Commercial Historic District Walking Tour”. If you missed the kick-off walking tour, on Monday, May 9, don’t worry, the DNA will host another guided tour on Tuesday, August 30, 2016, 6PM.

Watch for updates on the DNA Facebook page. The tour will begin at the parking lot at Prairie and South Grove. Mr. Jerry Turnquist, local historian, will lead a special tour of historic downtown Elgin to celebrate the city center’s rich historical beauty! We hope you can join us, and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes!

Downtown Elgin Commercial Real Estate Broker Tour



There are also Sponsorship Opportunities available!
This is a prime event to get your business noticed!

Real Estate Broker Tour 051916 Sponsorship Sheet

Thank you to our sponsors:


Sign Up To Receive Weekly Downtown Event Details

Do you receive the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s weekly emails, the “Top10” and the “Weekend Reminder“?

Top-10-Header-Elgin-HighlightsEvery week we feature all the events, activities, live music, dining and shopping specials happening in Downtown Elgin!

Register today to receive these emails.

Small Business Saturday in downtown Elgin 11.28.15

sbs 1128Small Business Saturday (SBS), is right around the corner! Every year, this American shopping holiday is held on the Saturday after Thanksgiving during one of the busiest shopping periods of the year. First observed on November 27, 2010, it is a counterpart to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, which feature big box retail and e-commerce stores respectively. However, SBS focuses on the local shopkeepers and all that they have to offer!

This year, Small Business Saturday takes place on Saturday, November 28. Be sure to visit downtown Elgin businesses that offer the quality and selection that the big box stores can’t. Downtown restaurants offer the flavors and atmosphere that only an individual restaurant can offer. Be sure to shop local on Small Business Saturday, and always!

Fourth of July Parade set for Monday, July 4, 2016!

  • The 2016 City of Elgin and Downtown Neighborhood Association’s (DNA) Fourth of July Parade begins with an All-American Pooch Parade at 8:30am. 
  • Then, stepping off at 9am the “Going for the Gold” 2016 Fourth of July parade begins! 
  • From there, enjoy the large trucks, creative floats, music, dancing, BMX bike stunts, cheerleaders, tumblers and all the other entertaining acts and floats!

Volunteer Information:
Register to volunteer here

Meet at Danny’s on Douglas at 6:15am to register, pick-up your volunteer t-shirt, receive your volunteer supplies and attend the short volunteer orientation.
-All volunteers: Please read the Participant Information below, to acquaint yourselves with the participant process.
-After the parade, stop back at Danny’s for lunch, a game of bags and a cold beverage, or visit any of our many Downtown Elgin restaurants to grab a bite to eat.

Participant Information:
-General registration is now closed.  To register as a sponsor, please contact info@downtownelgin.com
-Parade information and guidelines here

Information for Spectators:
Downtown Elgin is open for business! Many of the shops and restaurants are open to welcome the community! After the parade stop by Soulful Sparrow, Elgin Antiques & Uniques, and our many other unique shops, or make your way to Side Street Studio Arts for their 3rd Annual Americana Jubilee, which will feature a pie eating contest, dunk tank, and many other fun family-friendly activities.

From there, take a stroll along Elgin’s Riverside Drive Promenade, along the scenic Fox River, and then make your way to Festival Park, where the Grand Victoria Casino will continue the tradition of their Summer Concert Series!  Then, sit back in your seats and enjoy the GVC Fireworks display in Downtown Elgin! It will prove to be a spectacular event!

-Plenty of Free Parking in Downtown Elgin!
-The Grand Victoria Concert starts at 5:30pm
-Fireworks will be deployed from National Street bridge at approximately 9:30pm
-Contact the DNA at info@Downtown Elgin or 847-488-1456


Thank you to our 2015 Fourth of July Parade Volunteers and Sponsors!

For 2016 Sponsorship Opportunities click here!

Sponsor banner


under-construction-flashing-barracade-animationThe final phase of the  Downtown Elgin Streetscape began March 21, 2016, with improvements being made to the Chicago Street and Highland Avenue Bridges and the frontage road that connects them adjacent to State Street/Route 31.When this project is finished, the gateway to downtown Elgin will mirror the beautiful sidewalks, pavers and planters that have already adorned our city’s center.

12885992_10153482882235920_7660144735983352333_oLane improvements on the Chicago and Highland Bridges:
On the Chicago Street Bridge, the south lane will remain open, as will the north side of the Highland Avenue Bridge. The frontage road on 31 that connects the two will be closed for streetscape improvements.  Businesses will remain open during this construction, so please continue to visit.

Please be aware that these new lane configurations will remain in place until June, 2016.

-PACE will continue with removing their current building located between Chicago and Highland in Downtown Elgin, and rebuilding a new building and making improvements to the deck. The canopy will stay in place. The PACE construction should all remain on the property footprint.

Click here for a list of updated road projects!


Register for the DNA’s “Top 10” and “Weekend Reminder” for weekly updates.
And Like our Facebook page for any up-to-the-minute changes.

The DNA is looking for a Harvest Market Manager!



Position:  Downtown Elgin Harvest Market, Market Manager

  General Description:

The Downtown Elgin Harvest Market began operating in 2000 as an event of the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin.  It is a seasonal market held weekly on Thursdays from the first week in June through the first week of October (18 weeks) and is located outdoors in a City of Elgin parking lot at 200 North Grove Avenue in Downtown Elgin.

The market offers and encourages locally grown and sustainably produced food, provides an outlet for educational opportunities on sustainable practices and healthy living, supports local artists, community organizations, and Downtown businesses while cultivating a welcoming and entertaining public space atmosphere in Downtown Elgin. During peak season, more than 20 vendors of raw and processed agricultural local products participate, selling their goods to over 500 or more customers and visitors a week.

The market manager is a part-time position who will work closely with the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Event Coordinator and Administrative Assistant. The person filling this position will need to have the following skills to successfully operate an urban farmers market including:

  • Vendor recruitment and relations
  • Market application process
  • Volunteer recruitment and management
  • Market promotion and outreach
  • Collaboration with city departments, local businesses, and other organizations
  • Market day logistics and execution
  • Financial record keeping
  • Understanding/operating EBT program

A strong candidate for this position will have a demonstrated passion for local, sustainable food production and/or community building and civic engagement as well as excellent communications skills.  This is a physically demanding role, requiring the ability to work in all weather conditions and to lift and carry up to 50lbs.  Applicants must be 18 years of age or older and legally eligible for employment in the U.S.

Other desired qualifications are:

  • Highly self-motivated and able to work independently
  • Familiar with Downtown Elgin and/or Downtown Districts
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office suite
  • Basic understanding of social media, online communications
  • Experience in customer service and/or event planning
  • Agricultural background
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with diverse populations
  • Ability to learn on the job and multitask
  • Conflict resolution and problem solving skills

Position Responsibilities:
The 2015 Downtown Neighborhood Association’s Harvest Market outdoor season will operate on Thursday’s from June 4 through October 1, 9am – 2pm, at 200 North Grove Avenue, Elgin, IL. The Market Manager will be expected to arrive at 7am and stay through tear down (approximately 3pm).  During that time, s/he will work with volunteers, etc. to set up the Market, coordinate volunteers, interns, sponsors, vendors, community partners, kid program partners, special activities, and tear down of the Market.  This is a physically and mentally demanding role that is best filled by someone with enthusiasm and a positive, resilient attitude. The Market Manager will also have regularly scheduled office days to focus on such tasks as enrolling farmers/vendors, collecting fees, creating and maintaining the Harvest Market budget, overseeing the Harvest Market Committee meetings and other duties as assigned. The DNA office is located at 10 N. Spring Street, Elgin, IL.

How to Apply:
Submit a cover letter, resume and salary requirements to the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, IL at info@downtownElgin.com. In the subject line, please enter “Harvest Market Manager Position”.



save the date


WOW – There is a lot going on in downtown Elgin for 2015
and here is a sneak peak!

The DNA, City of Elgin and downtown Elgin businesses and organizations are very busy planning events for Elgin’s central business district, so Save the Date and don’t miss a thing!  More to come! And remember…There is always plenty of free parking in downtown Elgin!

DNA’s 2014 Window Wonderland ~ “Holiday Scenes from the Silver Screen”

ww2014Imagine snowflakes falling gently though the crisp air, the clattering click clack of a carriage as it carries a group of laughing folks through town, brilliantly decorated windows, the lighting of a tree, and to bring it all together – the warm smile of a friendly face to capture the glow of the season.

This is Window Wonderland.

Join the DNA as we celebrate the 16th Annual Window Wonderland on December 6th, 12pm-5pm. For 2014, windows will be decorated in the theme of “Holiday Scenes from the Silver Screen”. The day will include pictures with Santa, Santa’s live reindeer, carolers, free City Skate, roasted chestnuts, City of Elgin official tree lighting and much more!

Al’s Cafe
43 DuPage Court
Elgin Junior Service Board (JSB) decorated Al’s windows and will be on site to sing some joyous Christmas carols for all to enjoy! So stop by Al’s to get some lunch, enjoy one of their delicious hand-made shakes or malts for dessert, and sing along with JSB at this magical time of year!
~Al’s will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Auntie Vee’s
Civic Parking Lot, Douglas and Highland
Most amazing cupcakes for sale!


Bangkok House & Shanghai Restaurant
11 Douglas Ave
Bangkok House specializes in authentic Thai and Chinese cuisines, but for Window Wonderland, they will specialize in their annual Holiday Cookie Decorating for all…Sweet!
~Bangkok House will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop.


Blue Box Cafe
176 E. Chicago St.
Blue Box will be celebrating Winter Wonderland with the spirit of giving by hosting a Toy Drive and will also feature local musicians entertaining you all day long! Stop by, grab a hand-crafted deli delight and sit back and enjoy this warm and welcome atmosphere!
~BBC will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Boy Scout Troop #10
Civic Parking Lot, Douglas and Highland
Will be serving hot chocolate and a savory treat to warm you up at this magical event!
Boy Scout Troop #10 also decorated the windows at Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance at 19 S. Spring
~Boy Scout Troop #10 will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop


Boy Scout Troop #111
Civic Parking Lot, Douglas and Highland
You can count on Boy Scout Troop #111 this year again, because they will be at Window Wonderland with their delicious cobbler!
~Boy Scout Troop #111will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop


Carriage Rides
Civic Parking Lot
Highland & Douglas Ave


C. Insurance Agency
7 S. Spring St.
Warm up on a your stroll downtown at C. Insurance Agency with Cookies and Coffee!
~C Insurance Agency will be Window Wonderland Passport Stop


Danny’s On Douglas
231 Douglas Ave.
Will be serving their award-wining pizza as always! And has a band starting later in the evening at 9pm.
~Danny’s will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


D&M Antiques
207 E. Chicago St.
Check out their beautifully decorated windows! Magical and warm for this special time of year!
~D&M Antiques is an entry for the window decorating contest


Elgin Antiques & Uniques -New Location
207 E. Chicago St.
Mosey around this beautiful shop – You never know what you will find! Check out their beautifully decorated windows that are adorned with gorgeous antiques and that could be rare and unique!
Elgin Antique & Uniques is an entry for the window decorating contest


Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce
31 S. Grove
The Chamber’s windows were created by Little Angels. A must stop on the Window Wonderland Tour in downtown Elgin!
~Elgin Area Chamber of Commerce is an entry for the window decorating contest


Elgin Police Department / Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association
151 Douglas Ave
EPD will be hosting their 4th Annual Winter Open House, 12-4pm, in the lobby of the Police Department. Come in and warm up with a free hot chocolate, hot cider, and some great police coffee.  Visit with the Elgin PD staff and see some neat police gadgets.  There will also be historical items on display.
~EPD will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Elgin Public House
219 E. Chicago
It’s time for the Annual Winter Wonderland Picture with Santa at EPH! Santa will be onsite from 1-4pm! Stop by for your free photo opp with the Santa Claus! While you are there, you can even order some lunch and unwind over their better than average “pub grub” and their fine line of beverages.
~EPH will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop.
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest*

Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance
19 S. Spring
Always big supporters of Window Wonderland, KJH Insurance lent their windows out to Boy Scout Troop #10 as a pallet for their “Holiday Scenes on the Silver Screen” theme!
~KJH is an entry for the window decorating contest


NHS of Fox Valley
163 E. Chicago
Even though they are moving to a bigger location, they did want to miss out on the DNA’s Window Wonderland! Stop by to see their “Holiday Scenes from the Silver Screen” window created by local artist, Tania of Elgin Artspace.


The Razor’s Edge Salon
55 Douglas Ave
Stop by The Razor’s Edge to take the chill out with some Hot Cider until 3pm.  While you’re there, get a new “do” because Walk-in’s are more than welcome!
~Razor’s Edge will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


225 E Chicago St
GoGo and get some hot mulled cider and a sweet treat at this vintage and retro paradise!
~Retro-a-GoGo will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Roasted Chestnuts by Tom & Tom
Corner of Chicago and Douglas
This holiday time-honored tradition is back!  While Jack Frost may be nipping at your nose, stop by and say hello to Tom & Tom who will be roasting chestnuts over an open fire!


Robert M. Mikulski & Co PC
23 Douglas Ave
At Robert M. Mikulski & Co it all adds up to a fun time! You can decorate ornaments while enjoying some holiday refreshments.
~Robert M. Mikulski & Co will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop.


Santa’s Reindeer
Civic Parking Lot, Highland & Douglas Ave
Santa’s real live reindeer are making a stop in Elgin before their big day at the end of the month!


Side Street Studio Arts
15 Ziegler Court
From 11am-2pm, Side Street Studio Arts welcomes you to their free Santa’s Workshop! Kids of all ages can create your own holiday/winter crafts! Side Street Studio Arts is where art happens!
~Side Street Studio Arts will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop.


Simple Balance Health Center
221 E Chicago St.
Stop by Simple Balance to help yourself sustain magnificent health in mind, body, heart and soul. And start by helping yourself to hot chocolate, which they will be serving from 1:30-3:30pm!
~Simple Balance will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Soulful Sparrow
10 Douglas Ave.
Soulful Sparrow will be celebrating our community’s “Holiday Stars” by making handprints on construction paper (like they do in cement on Hollywood Blvd). Get inspired at this unique gift and decor shop that is inspired by artistic, industrial romantic and re-purposed imagination!  Soulful Sparrow will be open from 10am-5pm.
~Soulful Sparrow will be a Window Wonderland Passport Stop
~and is an entry for the window decorating contest


Wrona Brothers Office Supply
205 E. Chicago St.
From office supplies to beautiful holiday windows – Wrona delivers! While strolling down Chicago Street take a peak at their decorated windows!
~Wrona Bros. is an entry for the window decorating contest


YWCA Elgin
220 E. Chicago St.
The YWCA Elgin has been serving the community for over 113 years and always does a great job – even when it comes to window decorating! Check out the YW’s holiday scenes from the silver screen!
~YWCA Elgin is an entry for the window decorating contest


This all leads up to the official City of Elgin tree lighting at 5pm. Santa will be there along with wonderful carolers to continue the magic of this wonderful event!

Thanks to our sponsors: TranSystems, MetLife Insurance, Kirkpatrick, Jones & Herzog Insurance, City of Elgin, Santa’s Village Azoosment Park (Closed for the season, but save-the-date for May 9, 2015 when they re-open!), Danny’s on Douglas, Bangkok House & Shanghai Restaurant, Soulful Sparrow, and D & M Antiques!

We also want to give a “Thanks a Mil” shout-out to the DNA’s Window Wonderland Volunteer Groups:
Elgin Young Professional Network ~ The Official Judges for the 2014 Window Wonderland
Elgin 360 ~ The Official “Picture with Santa” elves!
Elgin Junior Service Board ~ Overseeing the DNA’s Operation Gratitude
Judson University Service Learners – For doing all that they do!

SAVE-THE-DATES! 11.29.14 & 12.06.14

circle sbsThe Downtown Neighborhood Association LOVES our DBO’s – Downtown Business Owners! And this year, we want everyone to participate in Small Business Saturday, which takes place on Saturday, November 29, 2014 (in between Black Friday and Cyber Monday). Downtown businesses offer quality and selection that the big box stores can’t. Downtown restaurants offer the flavors and atmosphere that only an individual restaurant can offer. More info to come…





window_wonderlandThen on Saturday, December 6, 2014, noon-5pm, please join the DNA for Window Wonderland. This is a time-honored tradition in downtown Elgin. The decorated windows in Elgin’s central business district are always a crowd-pleaser, plus there will be Santa’s reindeer to pet, and even Santa himself will be available for a photo opp. This event all leads up to the City of Elgin’s official tree lighting at 5pm. More info to come…