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Welcome to the media center for the Northern Fox River Valley 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 Northern Fox River Valley

  • 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 Northern Fox River Valley. 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 Northern Fox River Valley 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 Northern Fox River Valley 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 Northern Fox River Valley 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 East Dundee.
  • Visit the Illinois Railway Museum, in Union, the largest railway museum in the USA.

Press releases

  • The Imago Film Festival to Include Impressive Lineup of Hollywood Executives

    The 13th annual Imago Film Festival will be a star-studded event, featuring short independent films from around the world, live music, a red-carpet closing and conversations with Hollywood executives who are responsible for creating top-dollar box office hits.   The Imago Film Festival, which is held on the Judson University campus each year, will showcase...
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  • Worship Arts Major Adam John Moxness to Perform Cabaret-Style Show for Senior Recital

    Senior Worship Arts major Adam John Moxness will take to the stage to perform a medley of 16 songs taken from 15 contemporary musical theater productions, including “Les Miserables,” “The Last Five Years” and “Hamilton,” during his senior recital on Friday, March 24, in the Thulin Performance Hall in the Thompson Center (1151 N. State...
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  • Judson Named Among the 50 Top Mission Minded Christian Colleges and Universities

    Judson University is listed among the 50 Top “Mission Minded Christian Colleges and Universities” for 2017 by Christian Universities Online.   This is the first time that the Elgin-based university has been included on ChristianUniversitiesOnline.org’s top “Mission Minded” schools list. Ranked at No. 45, Judson is commended for its mission to “educate, equip and empower,”...
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  • Chief Schmidt selected into 2017 Fire Service Executive Development Institute Participants

    The International Association of Fire Chiefs [www.iafc.org] (IAFC) announced that Fire Chief David Schmidt of the Elgin Fire Department has been accepted into the fifth year of the Fire Service Executive Development Institute (FSEDI).  David Schmidt competed with new fire chiefs and chief officers from across the country and Canada to become a member of...
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  • Andrew Grams and the ESO set to explore Brahms’ Symphony No. 4 at Inside the Music March 31

    Designed to demystify classical music in a relaxed and informal setting, the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s (ESO) Inside the Music, March 31 at 8 pm, Hemmens Cultural Center, will explore Johannes Brahms’s fourth and final symphony, a ground-breaking and important work in the classical symphony orchestra repertoire.  Brahms took the traditional classical structures and forms of...
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  • Area Music Organizations Present Voices of Spring, a Celebration of the Vocal Arts, April 23-May 7

    The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) together with Chamber Music on the Fox, the Elgin Master Chorale and Soirée Lyrique, are proud to present Voices of Spring, a collaboration celebrating the vocal arts April 23-May 7. Each organization will offer a concert featuring choral or vocal works, ranging from musical theatre to the Brahms Requiem.  Of...
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  • “Dazzling” Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein performs Copland’s Jazz-Infused Clarinet Concerto with the ESO Mar 3-5

    Clarinetist Alexander Fiterstein, praised by The New York Times for possessing a “beautiful liquid clarity,” performs Aaron Copland’s Clarinet Concerto March 3-5 with the award-winning Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO), led by Resident Conductor Stephen Squires. Of Fiterstein, The Washington Post wrote, “Fiterstein treats his instrument as his own personal voice, dazzling in its spectrum of...
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  • Free ESO Family Concert, Fused Art with ESO Cellist Elizabeth Start & Friends, Feb 26 at the Gail Borden Public Library

    The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Free Family Concert Series presents Fused Art with ESO Cellist Elizabeth Start & Friends Sunday, February 26 at 2 pmat the Gail Borden Public Library, Meadows Community Room in Elgin. Join ESO cellist, composer, and fused glass artist Elizabeth (Betsy) Start and her ESO friends as they demonstrate how poetry...
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  • The Imago Film Festival Will Honor TV Producer and Writer David McFadzean with the Lifetime Achievement Award

    (ELGIN, IL – February 10, 2017) The man who co-created the 1990s hit sitcom “Home Improvement” will receive the 2017 Imago Film Festival’s highest honor in April.   Judson University has announced that David McFadzean will be the recipient of the Imago Lifetime Achievement Award, an honor given to an individual whose work in film...
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  • Judson Seeks Nominations for the 2017 D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award

    (ELGIN, IL – February 7, 2017) Judson University is now seeking nominations for the D. Ray Wilson Volunteer Service Award, which is presented each year to the candidate who has contributed to the greater good in the Fox Valley community by voluntarily serving others’ physical, emotional, intellectual or spiritual needs.   The D. Ray Wilson...
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