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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

  • 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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  • ESO Bass Trombone and ECC Instructor Mark Fry to perform Free ECC Faculty Recital April 21 at 7 pm

    Mark Fry, Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) bass trombone, co-founder of Chamber Music on the Fox and Elgin Community College (ECC) low brass instructor, will present a faculty recital at ECC on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 7pm.  The program includes music by Beethoven, Broughton, Pilss, Grantham and Koetsier, and features pianist Lannette Calhoun (ECC Piano...
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  • 2017 Elgin Short Film Festival – CALL FOR ENTRIES

      Elgin, IL – 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...
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  • 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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