On Tuesday, October 7, 2014 at 7:00 p.m., you are cordially invited to attend the Elgin Heritage Commission’s meeting to discuss the merits of a proposed National Register Elgin Downtown Commercial District Nomination that was submitted by the Design Committee of the Downtown Neighborhood Association (DNA) to the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.  This is a public meeting and not a public hearing. However, a public hearing is being held on Friday, October 24, 2014 in Springfield, IL.  More information on the October 7th and October 24th presentations, can be found on this link for the Historic District Public Meeting Notice Oct 2014, which also includes the proposed downtown commercial district map and the official public notice.

The DNA’s Sweet 16 Birthday Party & Open House on 9.5.14!

DNA Postcard frontOn Friday, 9.5.14, 7-10pm, please join the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin, IL for music, food and fun as we celebrate our new space and our 16th Birthday!!!

Also – please consider making a birthday donation of $16 to help us continue the work of developing downtown Elgin. Please mail that to:
DNA, 10 N. Spring Street, Elgin, IL 60120

Any questions – contact us at or 847-488-1456.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association is a 501(c)(3), non-profit, volunteer-driven organization that focuses on the vitality of downtown Elgin.

April’s Out to Lunch

Out to LunchThe DNA’s April Out to Lunch takes place at Imago, 216 Prairie St, Elgin, on Monday, April 28th, at Noon. Mark Novelli and his wife Aimee are the Managers at Imago and this Out to Lunch gives you the opportunity to check out this incredible building in downtown Elgin that you have always been curious about!
In addition, Blue Box Café will provide us with a Box Lunch (Sandwich, Sea salt chips, 2 delicious cookies chocolate chip and raisin) and your choice of water or Soda at a cost of $12 per person (includes tax and tips). For your sandwich selection have a choice of:
*The Elgin Club – Turkey, roast beef, ham, applewood smoked bacon, pepper jack cheese, sriracha mayo on wheat or Sourdough
*Submarine Italiano – Salami, ham, pepperoni, mortadella, provolone cheeses, lettuce, red onions, oil, vinegar, Italian dressing on Italian roll
*Turkey Ranch – Oven roasted turkey breast, tomatoes, applewood smoked bacon, red onions, baby swiss and our ranch dressing on whole grain wheat bread.
*Also Veggielicious sandwich available on request
The DNA’s special guest speakers will be Ruth Munson, Social Media Strategist and John Steffen, Elgin City Council member. Both Ruth and John were DNA founding members and their topic will be about beginnings of the DNA, their present positions and involvement with Elgin.
RSVP with your name and e-mail address and your sandwich selection to 847-488-1456 or right here, no later than Thursday, April 24th at noon.  Hope to see you there!

2015 Elgin Fourth of July Parade ~ American Pastimes ~


The 2015 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Steps off Saturday, July 4 at 9AM at  the intersection of Slade and Douglas Avenues, then  proceeds south on Douglas thru the NorthEast Neighborhood Association, into the heart of downtown Elgin, and ends at the intersection of Highland and Douglas Avenues.

This year’s theme is “American Pastimes”.  Please join the City of Elgin and the Downtown Neighborhood Association in celebrating those who have served our country and community.

For all those participating in the City of Elgin’s 4th of July Parade, complete the 2015 Parade Participant Application and the 2015 Parade Waiver.  We also encourage you to decorate your parade entries in this year’s theme of American Pastimes.

All participants, please read and familiarize yourself of the 2015 Parade Application Guidelines.


Sponsorship Opportunities:
The DNA offers businesses, organizations and individuals to take advantage of 2014 Fourth of July Parade Sponsorship.

The Fourth of July Parade is a time-honored tradition in downtown Elgin that enjoys extensive media coverage and more than 15,000 spectators annually, who range in age from young to young-at-heart.

Some benefits include:  Ad space in the DNA’s Top 10 e-news for the month of June, logo and link on DNA website, sponsor representative interviewed on local Channel 17.

Become a City of Elgin 2015 Fourth of July Sponsor today!


The DNA is busy planning the 2014 parade, but here are some highlights from 2013:


Over 105 confirmed parade units, more than 100 vehicles and 25 floats, and over 2,000 walkers participating, crowd of 10,000-15,000 parade enthusiasts took advantage of the warm weather to take in Elgin’s annual summertime rite of passage!

Click here to download the 2013 Parade Packet, which includes a complete list of 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital parade participants (with individual staging block listed in parenthesis) as well as the 2013 parade staging map with parade route, shuttle bus drop off points, listing of parking areas and restrooms, and disbandment routes.  Also included is the Parade Waiver which needs to be completed for all those participating in the City of Elgin’s 4th of July Parade.


2013’s theme for the City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital is “Elgin Marching Thru Time” – a timeline-based, community celebration of the individuals and organizations who have contributed to Elgin’s rich history as well as an acknowledgement of the landmark anniversaries several area businesses and groups are celebrating.

The following 2013 Elgin 4th parade entries participated in the “Elgin Marching Thru Time” parade unit decorating contest:

The Golden Era (Pre 1900′s-WWII)

American Indian Center/Trickster Gallery – Pre-1900′s
Gail Borden Public Library – Pre-1900′s
Fox Valley Libertarian Party – Pre-1900′s
Elgin History Museum – Pre-1900′s
Elgin Police/Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association (CPAAA) – Pre-1900′s
ABODE – 1900-1920′s
Fox Valley Chapter of the Model T Ford Club International, Inc. – 1900-1920′s
Elgin Lions Club – 1930-1940′s
Redmon’s Towing – 1930-1940′s
Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl (BFH) – 1930-1940′s

Back to the Future (1950′s-The Future)

West Suburban Shrine Club Roaring ’57s – 1950-1960′s
St. John’s Lutheran School and Church – 1970-1980′s
Raging Waves Waterpark – 1970-1980′s
Rescue Warriors Corp – 1970-1980′s
Elgin Youth Football League – 1970-1980′s
PLS Loan Store – 1970-1980′s
Spring Hill Gymnastics – 1990-Present
Elgin Medi-Transport, Inc. – 1990-Present
Danny’s Pizza on Douglas – 1990-Present
South Elgin High School Band & Dance Team – 1990-Present
First Congregational Church of Elgin – The Future
MEGA (Midwest Elite Gymnastics Academy) – The Future
Elgin Parent Co-op School – The Future
Dance It Off with Kim – The Future

The parade’s distinguished judging panel, consisting of Elgin’s ghostly historic forefathers from the Elgin Area Historical Society’s annual Cemetery Walk, will name a first, second and third place winner in each of the “Elgin Marching Thru Time” judging categories.


2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the founding of Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin. Representatives from the Elgin Woman’s Club, the organization that was instrumental in bringing Sherman Hospital to the Elgin community, will serve as this year’s parade Grand Marshals.

Founded by more than 30 women in June of 1887, the Elgin Woman’s Club’s very first project was to establish and run a hospital in the booming and prosperous town of Elgin. Henry Sherman, farmer, Elgin businessman, and part-owner of the Elgin National Watch Factory, learned of the club’s plan and agreed to donate a two-story house to serve as the hospital’s site. Thanks to the efforts of the Elgin Woman’s Club, Sherman Hospital opened its doors on July 7, 1888 and the two organizations have been community partners ever since.


2013’s City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital offered its usual diverse and high energy cast of premiere performers, highlighted by The Jesse White Tumblers; Medinah Motor Corps, Green Thunder Percussion, The Drumline, Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl; Pro Dance Elite; Chicago Metropolitan Brass Ensemble; Elgin, Larkin and South Elgin High School Marching Bands; Kane County Mounted Rangers and more!

Before the Elgin 4th parade steped off, dozens of pretty and patriotic pooches put their best paws forward in the third annual Kountry Pet Resort Pooch Parade, which began at 8:30am at Ann Street and Douglas Avenue.

Just before the National Anthem, to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Gettysburg Address, Elgin City Councilman John Steffen delivered a reenactment reading of this legendary speech to the crowd assembled at the front of the parade route at Slade & Douglas Avenues in the role of President Abraham Lincoln.

This year’s National Anthem was performed by Jeorge Holmes at the front of the parade route at Slade & Douglas Avenues, and by a quartet of Elgin OPERA singers near the end of the parade route at Symphony and Douglas Avenues.

Members of the Elgin Sister City delegation from Cauquenes, Chile also walked with representatives from the City of Elgin’s entry into the parade.


The Elgin 4th Parade route begins at the intersection of Slade and Douglas Avenues, proceeds south on Douglas thru the NorthEast Neighborhood Association, into the heart of downtown Elgin, and ends at the intersection of Highland and Douglas Avenues.

The following streets in downtown will be closed to vehicle traffic from approximately 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM, and vehicles parked along these streets after 6 AM will be towed:
  • Kimball St. from Dundee Ave. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Douglas Ave. from River Bluff Rd. to E. Chicago St.
  • Highland Ave. from Spring St. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Symphony from Douglas Ave. to Spring St.

The following streets in the adjacent NENA neighborhood will be closed for staging and for the parade route from 6AM to Noon. No parked cars will be allowed on these streets during this time. Driveway access will be limited beginning at 6AM.


  • N. Grove Ave. from Kimball St. to River Bluff Rd.
  • Brook St. from Kimball St. to River Bluff Rd.
  • River Bluff Rd. from Spring St. to N. Grove Ave.
  • Douglas Ave. from River Bluff Rd. to Chicago St.

Parking will be allowed on the east-west streets between Spring St. and N. Grove Ave. though access will be very limited from 9-11AM while the parade is in progress.


Jeff Myers and Councilman John Prigge will provide play-by-play of the entire City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital from their broadcast position in front of the Elgin Police Department. The Elgin 4th Parade will be rebroadcast throughout the month of July on Channel 17. Kyle Bault will serve as on-site parade announcer over the loudspeakers for parade goers gathered around the performing area near the end of the parade route.


There is still plenty of time to sign up to serve as a volunteer for the 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade – Presented by Advocate Sherman Hospital. Volunteer opportunities include Block Captains, Parade Route Ambassadors and Set-Up and Take-Down Crews. Shifts are from 6:30-11:30AM. All volunteers will receive a parade t-shirt and free breakfast at the volunteer orientation beginning at 6AM. For more information about parade volunteer opportunities, contact the Downtown Neighborhood Association at 847-488-1456 or e-mail




The City of Elgin, Downtown Neighborhood Association, and the Fourth of July Parade Committee wish to thank the 2013 City of Elgin 4th of July Parade sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor – Advocate Sherman Hospital

Red Level Sponsor – Alexian Brothers Health System

White Level Sponsors – BMO Harris Bank, Chase, John B. Sanfilippo & Son, Inc.

Blue Level Sponsors – Armida & Joe Dominguez, Danny’s Pizza on Douglas, Davey Tree Experts, Elgin Academy, Elgin Community College, Judson University, Lamp, Inc., PLS Loan Store, Spring Hill Gymnastics, Redmon’s Towing, Waste Management

Community Level – Midwest Elite Gymnastics Academy

Media Sponsors – Daily Herald, WRMN Radio AM-1410

Upcoming Meetings in downtown Elgin

DNA logo with website elginlogo-3color




♦ Envision Elgin – A Comprehensive Plan for the “City in the Suburbs” Workshop

Thursday, March 6,  7pm, The Centre of Elgin, 100 Symphony Way


City Council Meeting – Committee of the Whole, Wednesday, March 19, 6pm, City Hall, 150 Dexter Court

 City Council Meeting – General Meeting, Wednesday, March 19, 7pm, City Hall, 150 Dexter Court


Downtown Business Owners Meeting, Friday, March 7th, 9am, DNA, 166 E. Chicago Street



 If you have questions regarding any of the above,

please call the DNA at 847-488-1456 or email us at



Central Business District (CBD) Streetscape – Phase 06

phase 6 streetscapePRE-CONSTRUCTION PUBLIC MEETING: In conjunction with the City of Elgin and TranSystems, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin (DNA) will be conducting a pre-construction public meeting about Phase VI of the Central Business District Streetscape project on Thursday, February 27, 2014 from 5-7pm at The Centre of Elgin’s Heritage Ballroom, 100 Symphony Way, downtown Elgin.

This will give downtown stakeholders an opportunity to ask questions of the project leaders, find out which parts of downtown will be impacted and for how long, as well as to voice their input.


RSVP to the DNA by phone at 847-488-1456 or by email at by Tuesday, February 25, 2014 at noon.

Talkin’ Trash with the City of Elgin!

talkin trash

The Elgin Strategic Plan Advisory Commission invites you to attend a community discussion about our current waste hauling program. Give your input on ways we could improve service, control costs and lower the volume of trash we generate.

The Strategic Plan Advisory Commission was put in place in 2013 to assist the City Council and city management by providing input and direction on issues related to the city’s Strategic Plan. A part of those duties includes advising the council on key issues of concern to the public.

The Commission will host two public meetings designed to gather input from residents on curbside trash pickup. Residents are invited to attend the one most convenient to their schedules.

Meeting locations and times are as follows:
Tuesday, February 18, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Gail Borden Public Library, 270 N. Grove
Thursday, February 27, 2014, 6:00 p.m.
Hawthorne Hill Nature Center, 28 Brookside Dr.

After ten years, the current contract with Waste Management will expire in 2014. The city will be soliciting bids from waste haulers in the spring and will use these meetings to discuss potential additions or changes that the public might want included in the contract.

At these public meetings, residents will be asked to share their opinions on current services as well as options the city should consider as part of the new contract. Among the subjects that will be discussed will be controlling costs by lowering the volume of waste going to the curb through initiatives such as recycling, composting and educational campaigns.

Dan Ault, Senior Analyst for the City of Elgin is overseeing the new contract.“Elgin has a reputation for having one of the finest waste programs in the area, and the cost to our residents in the lowest in the area. We want to take this opportunity to discuss the changing needs and desires of our residents in the coming years and take those things into consideration when negotiating the next contract. We want to continue to provide high quality service at reasonable cost to our residents.”

For more information regarding the upcoming meetings please contact Cherie Murphy, staff liaison to the Strategic Plan Advisory Commission at 847-931-5667 or



DNA’s Elgin Harvest Market: Seeds to Grow


Start warming up to the idea of planning your summer garden!  Whether small or large, you and your garden will benefit when you buy seeds from Seed Savers Exchange to benefit the DNA’s Downtown Elgin Harvest Market.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin (DNA), a non-for-profit volunteer based organization, has partnered with Seed Savers Exchange to offer 6 varieties of heirloom seed collections with four seed packets in each collection.  So whichever collection tickles your fancy –  from Big Salad Bowl to Container Magic or Kid’s favorite, Pizza Party, Heritage Garden or Flower Passion – you are sure to find one or more to be the perfect addition to your garden which will offer you fresh flowers and vegetables – right in your own back yard!  Each collection costs only $10 and 40%  goes directly to the Harvest Market! 

You can view the seed booklet with the six collection choices by going online to but remember to order and send payment through the DNA .  You may do this by:

  • Calling the office at (847)488-1456
  • Emailing
  • Message us on Facebook
  • Stopping by our new temporary office (M-F, 9-5pm ) at 166 E. Chicago Street ( where you can also view the booklet, order and submit payment
  • Mailing your order request to 2 Douglas Avenue, Elgin, IL 60120 (it will forward to us)

The deadline for complete orders is Monday, March 17 – St. Patrick’s Day – so think green;) The turnaround time for the seeds to be delivered will be two weeks and you will be called when they are in and ready for pick up.

March’s Out to Lunch will be at EPH!


Laura Valdez and “The Team” from the City of Elgin will be our special guests for the Monday, March 24 edition of DNA’s Out to Lunch program. Come to the Elgin Public House, 219 E. Chicago, at noon where you will have the pleasure of Greg’s Signature Buffet and a Printpresentation about Elgin’s 311 system, featuring everything one ever wanted to know about 311, but were afraid to ask!

RSVP at 847-488-1456 or online by Friday, March 21. As usual, the cost is $12, tax and tip included. Cash is preferred, and you pay at the event.

DNA is looking for enthusiastic volunteers! It’s true!

The Downtown Neivolunteerghborhood Association is currently looking for volunteers for our Promotions Committee.  If you love the downtown Elgin area and want to work on events such as the Fourth of July Parade, Window Wonderland, Pub Crawls, Cruise Nights and the DNA Gala, let us know!  We’d like you to be on the team that creates these successful promotional events that drives individuals to Elgin’s central business district.  With the support and generosity of volunteers, the Downtown Neighborhood Association organizes some of the most popular events in Elgin.  In addition, the DNA partners with other organizations and committees to promote events such as Nightmare on Chicago Street, Next Wave Art Salon and Home for the Holidays.  With your input and assistance, we can build an even greater downtown Elgin.  If you are interested, please send an email to  Thank you for your consideration of being a part of the DNA team!