Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Operation Elgin Homefront & Salvation Army Donations at Downtown Elgin’s Window Wonderland

In conjunction with Downtown Elgin’s 11th Annual Window Wonderland, Operation Elgin Homefront and the Salvation Army will be collecting donations for military personal and local civilians on Saturday, December 12, 11am – 5pm. Enjoying local business specials and unique attractions already at Window Wonderland, families will have the opportunity to give donations at various drop-off locations in the Downtown vicinity.

Operation Elgin Homefront is a partnership between Books at Sunset, the American Legion Post 57 and the VFW Post 1307 to engage a new generation in sustaining the troops overseas via communications and hard-to-find supplies. The hope is that soldiers stationed overseas, under physical duress with many experiencing financial, as well as family sacrifices, would beyond a doubt, realize their own community, young and old, remembers. On December 12, along with collection boxes, monetary donations can be made at Mad Maggie’s (51 South Grove) where there will be WW II themed music and performances, as well as an area for card & letter writing and creating snowflakes for all ages. There will also be an “Overseas Soldier’s Wish List” up in S. Grove window at Mad Maggie’s over the Thanksgiving holiday and will be on the Downtown Neighborhood Association’s website, after December 1. For further info contact Books at Sunset at 847.888.1860.

Also on December 12, in Downtown Elgin, the Salvation Army will have 20 large red collection cans at various passport stops in Downtown Elgin for the public to donate unwrapped new toys for children twelve and under, along with non perishable canned or boxed food from 11am – 5pm. Their canteen, serving hot chocolate and Sanfillipo nuts, will be located on the corner of South Grove Avenue and Fulton Street, their collection kettle near the Reindeer in the Civic Center Parking Lot, and their Brass quartet will be playing at the Gail Borden Public Library from 2-4pm. For more information call the Downtown Neighborhood Association office at 847.488.1456.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Buddings of Holiday Color From This Past Weekend

Check out some of the Window Wonderland competition windows that were decorated over the weekend! But don't judge them yet, as most are still being added to and worked on, or will be done over Thanksgiving.

So make sure you come out to vote Dec. 5-12 for your favorite window, by picking up a passport & ballot at participating businesses, the Gail Borden Public Library and Centre. Completed ballots can be dropped off at the Downtown Neighborhood Association's office at 2 Douglas Avenue through their mail slot.

Check out the complete list of windows and schedule of activities and attractions at after November 25!

Stay “Home for the Holidays” With Downtown Elgin’s Window Wonderland

One does not need to go far to have all of North Pole’s offerings at their doorstep. Downtown Elgin’s 11th Annual Window Wonderland will have all the holiday fixings on Saturday, December 12, 11am – 5pm. There will be live reindeer, chestnuts roasting, Polar express reading, a Christmas Queen, a Live Nativity scene, Ten Thousand Villages Bazaar, free ice skating and heated trolley rides, dog teams mushing around Downtown Elgin, the jolly Santa Claus himself and much more!

Plus there will be a fun-filled passport taking families to 35+ passport stops throughout Downtown Elgin where businesses and community groups will be offering goodies and/or special discounts, along with musical entertainment and activities. The more stops you go to the more offerings are available to you – free picture with Santa after 10 stops and a 50% coupon to a Elgin Symphony Orchestra Concert in the 2009 – 2010 season after 20 stops. Not sure of how you can get your family to all of these stops? Start early on December 5 as eight businesses will be stamping already – get your passport at participating businesses, the Gail Borden Public Library, the City of Elgin’s Tree Lighting ceremony, the Centre, or going to “It’s a Wonderful Life” a live radio play at the Hemmens that day.

Lastly there will be a competitive Window Wonderland contest of 35+ windows for the public to vote on their favorite “Home for the Holidays” themed window for the People’s Choice Award ribbon. These windows will also have a panel of judges who will choose 1st and 2nd place winners competing in the Student, Open, and Business categories and ribbons for the most Thematic, Creative, etc.

The Downtown Neighborhood Association’s event is sponsored in part by The City of Elgin, Country Financial, and Hampton, Lenzini, & Renwick. For more information about Window Wonderland call 847.488.1456 or go to

Downtown Elgin’s Window Wonderland “Home for the Holidays” is one of many activities happening in and around downtown Elgin on December 12 and is part of the city-wide, nonprofit celebration of the holidays for the months of November and December. Some of these events are the Elgin Symphony Orchestra’s “Home for the Holiday “concerts at the Hemmens ( ) and Midwest Dance Collective performing the Nutcracker at 1:30pm at the Elgin Art Showcase, Heartland Voices concerts at First United Methodist Church ( , NENA’s “Home for the Holiday Tour” at various Downtown residences ( , and Kim’s Black Belt Academy’s Toys for Tots Breakfast at their 5 S. Spring location. For further information go to