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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 Elgin Symphony Orchestra Announces Its 2018/19 Season

    Music Director of the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO) Andrew Hilary Grams announces the ESO’s 68th season, which marks Grams’ sixth as music director. The season features many of the great classical masterworks and lesser-known hidden gems. Also featured are contemporary works by American composers John Corigliano and Mason Bates, Chicago Symphony Orchestra Composer-In-Residence from 2010-15. Seven (7) works...

    Side Street Studio Arts (SSSA), located at 15 Ziegler Ct. in the heart of downtown Elgin, kicks off its 2018 visual art exhibition schedule Friday, January 5 with It’s Strange, a solo exhibition by SSSA Artist-Intern Kira Fox. Supported in part by the Elgin Cultural Arts Commission, It’s Strange, is Fox’s first solo exhibition, featuring an entirely new body of work...
  • Holiday Tea is Saturday, December 2 at 1 p.m.

    Teddy Bear Toys and Margarete Steiff The lights will be twinkling and cheer will be in the air! Join us for this FREE annual event ​ on Saturday, December 2, 2017​  that will be sure to get you in the holiday mood. Holiday drinks and refreshments will be provided.   Speaker Annette Issacs will reveal the interesting and cuddly history of a...
  • Citizen Way to Stop at Judson for Christmas Tour

    Judson University will host the upcoming “A Very Merry Lil Christmas” tour on Sunday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m. at Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin). Presented by the Hands and Feet project, the four-state music tour will feature Judson’s own celebrity alum Ben Calhoun ’03 and the members of the Citizen Way band, along with recording...
  • Judson University’s 2017 Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois is Andrew Kennedy

    Every fall, an outstanding senior from each of the four-year, degree-granting institutions of higher learning in Illinois is awarded the Abraham Lincoln Civic Engagement Award and becomes a Student Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois. Student Laureates are honored for their leadership and service in curricular and extracurricular activities. The student who will represent...
  • Judson University’s Shark Tank Competition Fires Up Next Week

    Judson University’s fourth Shark Tank event will take place on Thursday, Nov. 16, at 7 p.m. in the Thulin Auditorium (1151 N. State Street, Elgin). The finalists have been selected. The judges are in place, and the stage is set for the top competitors to win nearly $2,000 in prize money.   Inspired by ABC Network’s business...
  • Speaker Announced for Fall Commencement

    Judson University will welcome home alumnus Shawn Flynn ’89 to speak during Fall Commencement exercises at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin).   Flynn is president and managing partner of AdPro 360, an advertising agency in Colorado Springs, Colo., that was named one of the fastest-growing agencies in...
  • Christmas Concert of Worship to Feature Acclaimed International Pianist Huntley Brown

    Judson University proudly announces that acclaimed pianist Huntley Brown  will be the guest artist during this year’s Christmas Concert of Worship on Saturday, Dec. 2, at 3 p.m. and again at a second concert performance at 7 p.m. in Herrick Chapel (1151 N. State St., Elgin).   “The DCWPA Christmas Concerts of Worship have always been...
  • Music Director Andrew Grams to Lead ESO Premiere of Tributes Violin Concerto by Chicago-Area Composer James M. Stephenson on November 4 & 5

    ESO Music Director Andrew Grams will lead the ESO premiere of Chicago-area composer James M. Stephenson’s Tributes Concerto for Violin and Orchestra, featuring violinist Jennifer Frautschi, for whom the piece was written, on concerts November 4 and 5 at Hemmens Cultural Center, Elgin.  Stephenson explains, “Tributes is a conscious nod to all of the people who have contributed to the creation of this...
  • Elgin Celebrates The Holidays

    Discover this city’s talented performing arts community while rejoicing in the season with Elgin Celebrates The Holidays on Sunday, December 17, 2017 at The Hemmens Cultural Center at 3 pm. This holiday variety show, a festival of dance, music, and seasonal cheer, will feature many of Elgin’s talented performing arts groups including Eastern Groove Studio, BFH (formerly Ballet Folklorico Huehuecoyotl),...

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