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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

  • Summer Interns at the CVB

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 27, 2017   Contact: Krisilee Murphy kmurphy@northernfoxrivervalley.com    Nichole Bear and Meg Heimbach- Summer 2017 Interns at the Elgin CVB The CVB is excited to announce a packed one-two punch for the Summer of 2017. South Elgin, IL native Nicole Bear, 19, is a Summer 2017 intern in the Marketing and Graphic...
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  • City of Elgin’s Fourth of July Parade

    In conjunction with the Gail Borden Library’s Dinosaur Giants: an Exhibit from the Sereno Fossil Lab, this year’s parade theme is “Prehistoric Creatures.” Participants are encouraged to decorate floats or wear costumes resembling prehistoric dinosaurs, birds and reptiles. The parade, held on Tuesday, July 4, kicks off with the National Anthem at 9 a.m. followed by a “Pooch...
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  • Elgin Summer Theatre presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee

    For info & poster graphic, contact Jenny Sherman 847-931-5903 or Sherman_j@cityofelgin.org Elgin Summer Theatre presents The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee Elgin, IL – Elgin Summer Theatre (EST) presents THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE which will run at The Hemmens Cultural Center July 14 – 16 and July 21 – 23, 2017....
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  • Program Change for ESO 2017-18 Season Classics 2 Concerts- Guest Artist Amy Dickson Cancels; Jennifer Frautschi to Appear

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 18 May 2017 Contact:  Diane Handler d.handler@ElginSymphony.Org Program Change for ESO 2017-18 Season Classics 2 Concerts- Guest Artist Amy Dickson Cancels; Jennifer Frautschi to Appear   The Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) announces a program change to the 2017-18 Season Classics 2 concerts November 4 & 5, 2017.  Guest artist, saxophonist Amy Dickson,...
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  • Strike Out Cancer Game

    To Benefit the Jason Motte Foundation Hampshire, IL February 27, 2017: The high school baseball programs from Hampshire & McHenry have joined forces with Colorado Rockies reliever Jason Motte in an effort to raise money for people affected by cancer. The Strike Out Cancer campaign is directed by the Jason Motte Foundation. On May 19th...
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  • ART IN THE PARK SLATED FOR MAY 14 IN EAST DUNDEE

    More then 20 artisans will be displaying their work at East Dundee’s newest event, Art in the Park, which will be held on May 14, 10a-2p, on the grounds of the Depot on River Street. Visitors are invited to celebrate Mother’s Day by strolling among  booths displaying  hand crafted  jewelry; candles; custom made woodwork; aromatics;...
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  • ESO Board President Karen Schock nominated for a YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon Award

    Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Board President Karen Schock has been nominated for a YWCA Elgin Leader Luncheon Award in the Volunteer & Community Service category.  Nominees will be honored at the 34th Annual Leader Luncheon on Thursday, May 11, 11 am at The Seville in Streamwood, IL. Guest speaker will be State Senator Cristina Castro. ...
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  • Elgin Symphony League’s General Meeting Set for April 27 with Guest Speaker ESO French horn Sharon Jones

    The final Elgin Symphony League (ESL) meeting of the 2016-17 Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) concert season will be held on Thursday, April 27, 5:30 pm at the Evangelical Covenant Church, 1565 Larkin Avenue, Elgin. It will begin with a dinner, followed by a presentation by guest speaker ESO French horn Sharon Jones. The cost is...
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  • Judson’s Spring Concert of Worship to Emphasize Encounters with Grace April 29

    Join us for a heartwarming time of worship and hospitality during Judson University’s annual Spring Concert of Worship on Saturday, April 29, at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin).   The Spring Concert of Worship – Encounters with Grace – will be a fresh, honest and hope-filled invitation to find your...
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  • 2017 Elgin Short Film Festival – CALL FOR ENTRIES

    The Elgin Short Film Festival (ESFF) is returning for its ninth year! This is a one-of-a-kind event taking place at The Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin, IL on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The ESFF has drawn film entries from around the world making this an impressive event that has entertained film lovers since 2009. We...
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