December thank you

Monday, November 11th, 2019

Together in Paving the Way to a Brighter Future

Dear Residents of Long Grove,

We appreciate your grit and enduring patience in 2019. It’s been another year of putting up with red cones, construction trucks, and road closures. Yet we stayed the course and maintained our focus on the mission – bridging Long Grove’s timeless charms with updated amenities. As we approach the completion of the downtown renovation project, thanks to the big investments made by the Village and Lake County, we can see our promising future becoming just as evident as our storied past. Upgrades all around us including new streets, sewers, lighting, public water and sidewalks are paving the way for the next generation of business owners. A diverse commercial landscape investing in new and improved facilities and tax incentives is pumping fresh economic life. But the allure doesn’t stop with business prosperity. Long Grove continues to be considered one of the best places in the country to raise a family.

In 2019, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association continued to fundraise through its annual Long Grove festival and community event programming continued – raising tens of thousands of dollars to benefit downtown revitalization projects and drive tourism and regional awareness. That said, we still need you, local residents, to support our business neighbors by shopping and dining in downtown Long Grove. They rely on your regular, ongoing patronage for continued growth and success. As we look ahead to 2020, besides some finishing touches to the new infrastructure, you can expect to see the resurrection of the iconic Long Grove Covered Bridge and a brand-new downtown park where we can sit back and relish in all the beauty and charm that surrounds us daily.

Through the rubble our “destination town” status has re-emerged. As we begin this new chapter of our century-old tale, we’re excited for the prospect of tomorrow. Again, thank you for a remarkable 2019, where cooperation and foresight have been vital. We’re all in this together…

Sincerely,

The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association

September

Thursday, September 26th, 2019

With its colorful, vintage buildings and structures casting an ideal backdrop, historic downtown Long Grove proudly presented another year of its famous Irish Days festival to kick off September!  All eyes were smiling over Labor Day weekend once again for the 3-day family-friendly celebration of Irish culture, music, merchants, food and of course, beer.  Visitors strolled  the town’s brand new walkways and enjoyed bagpipers, folk bands, and Irish dancers and contests.

This one-of-a-kind St. Patrick’s Day on Labor Day experience took place in the heart of town, Fountain Square, and included some of Chicago’s top Irish musicians and dance troupes, such as: The Tooles, Beamish, The Shannon Rovers Bagpipe Band, Trinity Irish Dancers, Academy of Irish Music, and many more.  Thousands turned out to take in the sights and sounds at Irish Days.  Those who attended were even privy to the infamous Irish Dog Competition, where pooches who dressed the part were crowned Irish Doggie King, Queen, Prince and Princess, and the Best-Looking Men’s Legs in a Kilt contest – always a crowd favorite!

Irish food vendors like Celtic Pretzel and Harrington’s Catering and Deli were on hand to fuel visitors with hand-made pretzels, hot corned beef sandwiches, fish and chips, and other traditional foods.  Additionally, there was an area selling freshly tapped Irish-themed beers and non-alcoholic drinks to quench thirsts young or old.  While the “Wee Ones” area hosted Irish-themed crafts and face-painting for kids, the Gaelic Tent promoted awareness of the Irish language and genealogy.

 

 

Long Grove Gives Back in July

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

July is called the Month the Giving in Long Grove, where local merchants across town partner with local charities to support good causes.   The highlight of the month is the annual Sidewalk Sales event, organized by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, where businesses in the historic district come together for a long weekend dedicated to local retail and giving back.  During the Sidewalk Sales, July 19th through 21st, several downtown participating merchants roll their merch out onto the sidewalks and feature discounts and specials on offerings in a festive, open air marketplace setting.  Portions of the weekend proceeds/pop-up lemonade stands will be donated to the business’s local charity of choice.  Additional attractions for the whole family during the weekend include: sidewalk street chalk designs by local artists, surprise pop up vendors, and the annual Cars & Cigars fundraiser outside Neumann’s Cigars & More store in conjunction with the Kildeer Police Department (on Sunday, July 21st from 12 pm – 4 pm).

Discover Summer in Exciting Long Grove

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

There’s no better time to discover all the wonders of Historic Long Grove than summer.  Coinciding with the first day of Strawberry Fest, June 21st, the advent of summer in Long Grove means fun!  When it comes to shopping and dining options, downtown Long Grove has a strong core of varied merchants.  The retail landscape is growing at a rapid pace, and includes everything from family-owned home and clothing boutiques, dance studios, a craft brewery, and the oldest tavern and restaurant in Illinois, to Long Grove’s newest developments which include a premier grocery store, a boutique pet shop and the salon that is redefining style – REDEFINED.  In terms of recreation, Long Grove’s proximity to Lake County Forest Preserves give outdoorsy types over 31,000 acres (the second largest Forest Preserve District in Illinois) of protected land to explore this summer.  Our preserves offer endless opportunities for year-round outside recreation, nature exploration and relaxation.  Several preserves are located just minutes from Long Grove homes and boast award-winning facilities, miles of trails and acres of open spaces for visitors of all ages to enjoy.  Between the myriad of festivals, hometown events, and free concerts, summer in Long Grove is about as good as it gets!

Festivals Helping Revive Long Grove

Thursday, July 18th, 2019

Visitors come from around the region to attend Long Grove’s annual festivals and “hometown” events.  This influx of tourism generates retail revenue and commercial awareness while building future customer bases.  In some cases, it even leads folks to move their home or business here! Proceeds from Long Grove festivals go to improving the Long Grove experience throughout the year – things like new lighting in the downtown, decorations, and holiday promotions.  Long Grove’s three signature festivals – Chocolate Fest, Strawberry Fest, and Apple Fest – attract over 100,000 people alone and are some of the most publicized fests of the year in Chicagoland.  The kickoff to fest season 2019 began with an homage to chocolate the weekend of May 17th – 19th.  At this year’s edition of Chocolate Fest, life’s most delectable dessert cravings came together with three stages of live music.  In addition to a classic carnival with all the old school rides, the Kids Zone gave younger folks old school activities to partake in too, with family entertainment like chocolate pie-eating contests.  As the cherry on top, Long Grove Confectionery brought back the Chocolate Experience Tent, incorporating chocolate carvers, demonstrations, artisans, truffle-making, and more hands-on chocolately action…

Long Grove Events like Craft Beer Fest Help Improve the Experience

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

April 2019

In case anyone wonders, proceeds that the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association raises from the special events it organizes each year goes to improving the full Long Grove experience throughout the year – things like lighting in the downtown, decorations, hometown festivals, and holiday promotions.  Once such example of a fundraising event that contributes to enhancing Long Grove is the annual Craft Beer Festival. 

With its deep-seated German roots, downtown Long Grove transforms into the suburb’s biggest biergarten on Saturday, April 27 from 12 pm to 5 pm.  Situated in the parking lot in front of Lake County’s destination brewery, Buffalo Creek Brewing, Craft Beer Festival symbolizes Long Grove’s annual homage to its beer-loving, immigrant history.  Attendees get a one-of-a-kind, authentic tasting experience with some of Chicagoland’s most talented beermakers outside under the spring sun with a vintage village as a backdrop.  In addition to unlimited tastes of over 20 participating breweries, Craft Beer Fest also offers live music and local food options.

“Craft Beer Fest has become an annual tradition bringing together beer lovers from near and far,” said Mike Marr, president of the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association and owner/brewmaster of Buffalo Creek Brewing.  “Whether you’re into Belgium Ales or American Lagers, Craft Beer Fest has it all.  It’s the tasting experience of the year in one of Illinois’ most historic towns!”  

Long Grove’s picturesque backdrop helps set this beer festival apart from other cookie cutters in Chicagoland.  Organized by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, the event lets ticket-holders visit any brewer’s stations as much as they’d like to sample freshly-brewed suds and get brewing wisdom from the pourer.  They can learn from beer-makers things like what goes into making a varietal unique, how to taste and evaluate like a judge, what sorts of ingredients go into production, etc. 

Along with unlimited beers and local wines from participating vendors, Craft Beer Fest will feature live bluegrass from Anderlik & Otto. There will also be multiple eating options available by some local favorites, including Long Grove Confectionery, Three Legged Taco, and Signature Popcorn, to provide needed nourishment (for additional purchase) during this day dedicated to fresh beer.   21-and-over tickets are available in advance for $40 through EventBrite.

Reinvesting in our Past to Build a Brighter Future

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

March 2019

This year, downtown Long Grove is investing $100,000 in the Park District to benefit the community for the next generation ahead.  Updated, new parkland to complement the restoration of the historic covered bridge will help this hamlet reclaim and surpass its former glory.  Bringing the old and new together, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association is working with the Long Grove Historic Society on the plans for the infamous 100-plus-year-old bridge.

Last June, the National Park Service announced that the Buffalo Creek Bridge, more commonly known as the Long Grove Covered Bridge, was being placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This was the first property in Long Grove to receive this prestigious designation and only one of a handful or bridges in the State of Illinois.  The bridge is Long Grove’s icon and its brand.  The move to the National Register was supposed to put Long Grove on the map, federally.   Sadly, just days after the National Register designation, the bridge was demolished by an errant box truck.

Achieving National Register status confirmed many beliefs in the bridge’s historical value, as well as the sentimental value locals, know it holds for their community. This source of pride for all of Long Grove will return soon once the Buffalo Creek Bridge is rebuilt as the shining gateway to town.

Cocoa Crawl Creates $miles for the Community!

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

February 2019

One way the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association sends a jolt through the business community during the winter slow season is with the wildly successful Cocoa Crawl.  Up to two dozen merchants team up to create this fun-filled, family-friendly day where thousands of visitors crawl out of winter hibernation to stroll around town and make memories over a hot cup of cocoa, or two or three!

“We were pleasantly surprised when a couple thousand turned out for the first Cocoa Crawl a year ago,” says Laurie Wilhoit, Marketing and Communications Manager with the Long Grove Visitor’s Center.  “This year we’re anticipating more participants, more cocoa, and even more fun!”

The Cocoa Crawl celebrates the winter season and the vibrant retail scene in Long Grove.  Guests who attend the free event from 12 pm to 4 pm will start at the Visitor’s Center where they’ll pick up a map of participating stores and restaurants before stopping by as many spots as they like for complimentary cocoa sampling.  All Cocoa Crawl stops around town will be serving cocoa or chocolate-inspired drinks and treats – from hot chocolate bark to hot chocolate popcorn to hot chocolate Krispies.  Before calling it a day, Cocoa Crawlers are encouraged to come back to the Visitor’s Center to vote on their favorite cocoa treat and be entered into a raffle for prizes donated by participants.  To top it off, merchants will give visitors with more than just delicious cocoa; “they’ll provide a friendly face to help find a perfect treasure.”

Giving Back and Building Community in 2019

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

January 2019

As Long Grove continues to rebuild, reinvent and reclaim its “destination town” status during the year ahead, let’s take an opportunity to step back and appreciate one of its biggest champions.   The Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association (HDLGBA), a 501c non-profit organization, has a rich history of making the community stronger.  In addition to organizing exciting festivals that draw tens of thousands of visitors annually and supporting the new influx of businesses with marketing and PR support, the HDLGBA also places great emphasis on its charitable endeavors.

Although it flies under-the-radar, the HDLGBA’s commitment to helping other local non-profits is as meaningful as the smiles that are made at Chocolate Fest etc.  Whether it’s after school activities or historical tours, the HDLGBA is devoted to raising funds and donating to organizations that inspire and promote community.   Some of the recent groups the HDLGBA board has donated to include:

  • Long Grove Park District
  • Long Grove Historical Society
  • Long Grove Arts and Music Council
  • Long Grove Lions Club
  • Rotary Club
  • CERT (Community Emergency Response Team)
  • Kildeer Countryside PTO

Long Grove is destined to be prosperous in the next era, as it was for much of the last century.  It all starts with building a strong foundation and supporting neighbors.  As this little hamlet shakes off the dust and embarks on its new path forward, it does so with the backing of an old friend, the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association.

December Visitor Blog

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

Paving the Way to a Brighter Future in 2019

In case you haven’t stopped by recently, 2018 has been the year of construction in historic downtown Long Grove.  Yes, everyone who lives, works or has visited during this time has been somewhat inconvenienced by road closures, traffic jams and those annoying red cones. Oh, then there was that huge truck that destroyed the town’s iconic gateway!  The good news is, although it’s been painful at times and the renovation process is taking longer than expected, there is light at the end of the tunnel.  The village is literally and figuratively, paving the way to a brighter future.

In 2019, Historic Long Grove will rise and shine once again.  Through the demolition and rubble, the foreclosures and vacancies, a giant is slowly reawakening.  The rebirth of this destination town is within sight.  New infrastructure is attracting an exciting new crop of businesses while reinforcing the long lineage of mainstays for the next generation of visitors.  These changes are vital as Long Grove looks to prosper in the new era.

Besides relaunching with upgraded roads, sidewalks, and lighting, 2019 will also bring the resurrection of the Long Grove Bridge, which just before the accident was designated with the National Register of Historic Places honor.  One could say that history is reinventing itself as this little hamlet shakes off the dust and embarks on a new path.

Downtown Long Grove is rewriting the next chapter of its century-old story, and we’re excited for the dawn of tomorrow…

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