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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 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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  • SIDE STREET STUDIO ARTS PRESENTS 4TH ANNUAL POP-UP VALENTINE’S DAY CELEBRATION

    Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), 15 Ziegler Ct. in the heart of downtown Elgin, announces its annual celebration of all things St. Valentine’s Day kicking off this Friday, February 10 with the opening of the visual art exhibition Love is Love, a visual art pop-up exhibition featuring a variety of works from artists from all...
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  • Lords Park Pavilion in Elgin to offer regular open hours

      Elgin, IL-  Lords Park Pavilion will offer regular open hours beginning Saturday, February 4, 2017. The pavilion will be open to the public on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Lords Park Pavilion, a city-owned facility, is often rented for events like weddings, picnics, meetings and more.  Having regular...
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  • Judson University Named One of the 25 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the Midwest for 2017

      (ELGIN, IL – January 31, 2017) Christian Universities Online included Judson University among its rankings of the nation’s “25 Most Beautiful Christian Colleges and Universities in the Midwest” for 2017. Judson was also listed on the website’s 2016 list that included 50 of the most beautiful Christian colleges and universities across the nation. Christian...
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  • 14 DAYS OF LOVE IN DUNDEE” RETURNS TO EAST DUNDEE’S DEPOT FEB. 1

    The Big Heart is coming back to the Depot on River Street in East Dundee, signaling the beginning of the “14 Days of Love in Dundee” contest slated for February 1-14. During that time visitors are encouraged to win prizes by snapping a photo with their two-legged or four-legged sweetie in front of the Village’s...
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  • The Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces Its 2017/18 Season

    Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Andrew Grams and Chief Executive Officer David Bearden announce the ESO’s 67th season. The 2017/18 season marks Grams’ fifth as music director, and he has extended his contract through the 2020/21 season. The season features many beloved masterworks and lesser known classical pieces, with six (6) works...
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  • Experience a Rainbow of Sound at the ESO’s Fountains of Rome Concerts February 11 & 12

        The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) presents concerts so musically colorful it’s like a kaleidoscope of sound on Saturday, February 11, 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 12, 2:30 pm at the Hemmens Cultural Center.  Perfect for the family or your favorite Valentine, the program includes lush, passionate and beautifully melodic works like Dukas’ The...
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  • SIDE STREET STUDIO ARTS ANNOUNCES 2017 VISUAL ART EXHIBITION CALENDAR

    Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), 15 Ziegler Ct. in the heart of downtown Elgin, kicks off 2017 in its visual art gallery Friday, January 13 with LIVE, a solo exhibition by SSSA Director Roberto Martinez. Supported in part by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, LIVE, showcases Martinez’s documentary photographs of his experiences at local concerts...
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  • Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu to Lead a Free Masterclass Sat, Jan 7, 10 am at the Gail Borden Public Library

    2010 winner of the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition, violinist Angelo Xiang Yu, will present a masterclass on Saturday, January 7 from 10 am to 12 pm at the Gail Borden Public Library. The event, presented by the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) and the Gail Borden Public Library, is free and open to the public. Musicians...
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