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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

  • Elgin Cultural Arts Commission extending deadline for public art installation applications

    The City of Elgin Cultural Arts Commission (ECAC) announces its’ second annual Call for Public Art.  The ECAC is searching for two new pieces of public art as part of the “new works program” as outlined in the City’s Public Art Plan: one 2D piece and one 3D piece. Specifications and applications are available online at cityofelgin.org/publicart. Hard copies of...
  • 2018 Illinois Farmers Market Association Conference in Elgin

    The 2018 Illinois Farmers Market Association (IFMA) Conference is taking place at Dream Hall located at 51 S. Grove Avenue in downtown Elgin, Wednesday, March 14, 2018 from 7:00am – 6:00pm.   The IFMA Conference primary objective is educational support for farmers market organizers, farmers, vendors and other community food and nutritional organizations through networking,...
  • Elgin golf courses ready to open for the season

    Elgin, IL- The City of Elgin golf courses will open for the season thisFriday, March 16. Hours of operation are from 8:00 a.m. through dusk, weather permitting. Season passes and memberships are available for purchase at Bowes Creek Country Club and The Highlands of Elgin.  Tee times can be made online or by calling the golf courses directly: Bowes...
  • Catch the Stars of U-46 at TalentFest

    School District U-46’s talented high schoolers will get to showcase their skills at the eighth annual TalentFest next Tuesday on The Hemmens Main Stage. The contest features 10 acts, made up of two finalists chosen from each of the five District high schools – Bartlett, Elgin, Larkin, South Elgin and Streamwood. After these 10 finalists perform, the...
  • Andrew Grams and the ESO Set to Explore Elgar’s Enigma Variations at Inside the Music March 23

    Designed to demystify classical music in a relaxed and informal setting, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO) popular new program Inside the Music, March 23, 8:00 pmat the Hemmens Cultural Center, features Music Director Andrew Grams, who will explore Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations. Elgar, who also composed the Pomp and Circumstance marches, is one of the most famous English composers of all time....
  • Judson University to Host Annual March into Health and Wellness Fair

    (ELGIN, IL – March 2, 2018) Judson University’s Exercise and Sport Science Department will host its annual March into Health and Wellness Fair on Tuesday, March 20, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Lindner Fitness Center gymnasium (1151 N. State St., Elgin). The event is free and open to the public. The day will also...
  • Elgin High School Music Department Presents ‘Remember Me’

    ELGIN – The Elgin High School music department will perform traditional and new music from Central and South America, Puerto Rico, Mexico and Spain at a March 7 concert featuring the school’s Mariachi, varsity and symphonic bands. The Mariachi band will begin the concert with a large group performance and then break into smaller groups for more advanced performances,...
  • U-46 to Host Informational Sessions for Dual Language Program

    ELGIN – School District U-46 is inviting all families of incoming kindergartners and English-dominant first graders to Dual Language (DL) informational meetings hosted at local schools during the next few months. Starting in April, the District will also host informational sessions for families of students who are currently in sixth grade DL.   “Our successful Dual...
  • Judson University Ranked Among 25 Best Online Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Human Services

    TheBestSchools.org is a higher education website that provides rankings and other information regarding colleges and various degree programs. The website selected schools for this list based on various factors, including quality of the program, the types of courses offered, faculty, awards and reputation. Website editors pointed out that Judson’s program “prepares students for entry-level positions in...
  • ESO Musicians to Perform at Free Bach Around the Clock Event at Elgin’s First United Methodist Church March 3 Free Will Donations to 12-hour Concert for a Cause to benefit Ecker Center for Mental Health

    Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) musicians Scott Metlicka, flute and Carol Dylan, violin, Susan Posner, viola and Betsy Start, cello will perform as part of Bach Around the Clock, a free 12-hour event sponsored by the First United Methodist Church of Elgin on Saturday, March 3 from 9 am to 9 pm.  Mr. Metlicka is scheduled to...

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