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Welcome to the media center for the Elgin Area in Illinois. If you are researching and writing stories on the area, you’ll find information here on events, attractions, businesses and adventures.

Facts about the Elgin Area

  • Elgin was founded in 1835 by the Gifford Brothers, who were attracted to the Fox River on their trek west.
  • Elgin is named after the Scottish Hymn the song of Elgin.
  • Elgin is located 35 miles northwest of Chicago.
  • Elgin had a total population of 108,188 as of the 2010 census, making it the eight largest city in Illinois, and the 241st largest city in the USA.
  • The last four stops of the Chicago’s Metra Milwaukee District/West Line are in the Elgin Area. The Pace bus system serves the communities in the area.
  • The Elgin Public Museum founded in 1907, is the oldest purpose built museum in Illinois.
  • America’s longest highway, US Route 20, runs through the Elgin Area.
  • Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, is the largest railway museum in the United States.
  • Muirhead Farmhouse, in Hampshire, is the only farmhouse ever designed and built by Frank Lloyd Wright in his lifetime.
  • In 2010, Good Morning America crowned 2nd Street  in West Dundee the Best Block in America.
  • The Headless Horseman makes an appearance on Halloween every year in Sleepy Hollow. This is a community tradition that brings all the families together.
  • Bartlett is home to North America’s largest traditional Hindu mandir, the B.A.P.S. Shri Swaminarayan.
  • Carpentersville is home to the 25-acre bike park, Andres Bike Park.
  • In 2011, the Village of South was ranked in the CNN/Money’s Top 100 again for economic strength, great job opportunities, top schools and safe streets.
  • Santa’s Village Azoosment Park, in East Dundee,  is celebrating 55 years of bringing thousands of guests from all over the country!

Story starters

Arts capital of the suburbs

Elgin is becoming increasingly recognized for its edgy creative scene and vibrant arts community.

  • The Elgin Symphony Orchestra performs at the Hemmens Cultural Center.
  • Live artist interpretations take place weekly at Side Street Studio.
  • Work from local artists lines the walls of Artspace and HOTI Design.
  • Festivals include Art & Soul on the Fox and Elgin Fringe Festival.

Fox River Bike Trail

Explore over 40 miles of bike trail built on former railroad tracks, passing through 11 local communities. Find out more about the Fox River Bike Trail.

Golf lovers’ paradise

The Elgin Area is particularly rich in great public golf courses.

  • Highlands of Elgin was #2 on Golfweek’s list of the best State by State Courses you can play.
  • Highlands of Elgin was also listed #8 by Golfweek in their list of Best Municipal Courses.
  • Wing Park Course is the oldest nine-hole municipal golf course in Illinois, established in 1908.

Train buffs

Many of the communities in the Elgin Area were founded to build and service the railroads in the area. The area is now rich in railroad history.

  • Take the Metra from Chicago to honor the region’s railroad pride.
  • Visit the Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin.
  • Visit the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, the largest railway museum in the USA.

Press releases

  • Famed American Pianist William Wolfram to Perform Beethoven Concerto No. 3 March 3 & 4 with the ESO

    Pianist William Wolfram, silver medalist at both the William Kapell and the Naumburg International Piano Competitions, and a bronze medalist at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Piano Competition in Moscow, will perform Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3. with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) on Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4 at the Hemmens Cultural Center. This inventive piece...
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  • SIDE STREET STUDIO ARTS CELEBRATES 5th ANNIVERSARY

    Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), located at 15 Ziegler Ct., in the heart of downtown Elgin, is celebrating its five-year anniversary with a night of art making, visual art, live music, performances, and more Friday, March 2 from 6-10pm. The event is all ages and open to the public. There is a $5 suggested donation...
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  • Judson to Host a Beyond Colorblind Series in Chapel Next Week

    Judson University’s Chapel Ministry will welcome three guest speakers to campus next week to host its Beyond Colorblind series February 19, 21 and 23, during the regular 10 a.m. chapel time in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin). The events are free and open to the public. “The Beyond Colorblind series allows us to discuss race,...
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  • The Elgin Area Tourism Bureau Holds Elections, Announces New Board Chair and Board Member

    The Elgin Area Tourism Bureau held its annual elections for the Board of Directors and Marilou Pilman, the Acting Director of Marketing for the Grand Victoria Casino has been elected the new Board Chair.   Marilou Pilman, has been with the Grand Victoria Casino for over 23 years. She has been active on the Elgin...
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  • Friday, Feb 9, 98.7 WFMT to Air ESO Performance of Copland’s Our Town & excerpt from Stephenson’s Violin Concerto

    98.7 WFMT will broadcast the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO) November 2017 performance of Copland’s Our Town and the final movement of James M. Stephenson’s Violin Concerto, led by Music Director Andrew Grams and featuring violinist Jennifer Frautschi, during the noon hour on Friday, February 9 on Middays with Lisa Flynn.  The program airs weekdays from 10:00 am-1:00 pm. The ESO has won Illinois Professional Orchestra of the Year...
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  • Author, Speaker and Vocalist Mattie Montgomery to Lead Spiritual Enrichment Week February 5-9

    The Judson community will welcome vocalist, author and speaker Mattie Montgomery to campus next week. He will be the guest host for Spiritual Enrichment Week in chapel February 5-9. The chapel times on Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be 10 a.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin). The services for Tuesday and Thursday will be at 11 a.m. The chapel events are free and open...
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  • Judson Spring Production – A Belated Valentine – Shines a Light on Love

    Judson University’s Theatre Department will showcase the production of “A Belated Valentine” at 7 p.m. nightly February 21-24 in the Thulin Auditorium in Thompson Hall (1151 N. State St., Elgin).   The show reimagines “The Ugly Duckling” fairy tale, follows a college student seeking a wife, and takes a comical look at three different stages of matrimony.   “The...
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  • Nominations Sought for Annual Mayor’s Awards for Historic Preservation Efforts

    The Elgin Heritage Commission is seeking nominations for the 2018 Elgin Mayor’s Awards for Historic Preservation. Applications are available on the city’s website, at cityofelgin.org/mayorawards, and in person at the Community Development Department in City Hall, located at150 Dexter Court, Elgin, IL 60120. Nominations are due by 5 p.m. onFriday, February 23. The annual Mayor’s Awards, held each May during...
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  • Elgin’s 2018 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant applications are now available

    Applications for the 2018 Historic Architectural Rehabilitation Grant Program are available on the city’s website at www.cityofelgin.org/historicgrants and in person at the Community Development Department, City Hall, 150 Dexter Court, Elgin, IL 60120.  The deadline to submit applications and supporting documentation is Friday, March 30, 2018. Since the inception of the program in 1995, the City has awarded more than...
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  • “Strings of Silk Music Shopping Serenade”

    The State Street Market Shops of Elgin will celebrate the 2018 Valentine’s Day holiday with a very special Ladies Night Out on Thursday, February 8th, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Elgin resident and Chicago’s favorite strolling violinist Jennifer Silk will enhance the champagne and treats with classical music and popular requests. Located at 701...
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