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…

November Visitor Blog

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

How a Small Town Recreates Vintage Holiday Experiences

Tired of the big box mayhem or lonely online shopping?  Each year historic downtown Long Grove brings back old-school holiday spirit by giving shoppers a nostalgic alternative.  The entire village transforms into a Norman Rockwell Christmas scene during its annual Vintage Holidays campaign  – five consecutive weeks of classic shopping experiences for the family.  Long Grove is what the holidays used to be all about… small town warmth, old world charms, memorable family traditions.  Every Saturday and Sunday from November 23 until December 23, the charming downtown streets come alive with complimentary horse-drawn carriages and Santa roaming the sidewalks meeting with good girls and boys. Also helping set the festive mood each weekend are strolling holiday carolers and musicians along with the renowned Christmas Tree Parade, where businesses decorate fresh pines to the tune of their store’s distinctive theme.  People are invited to stroll along Long Grove’s cobblestone walkways and take in the sites of Victorian buildings trimmed with lights and custom Christmas trees against a picturesque wintery backdrop.

Historic Downtown Long Grove is home to an assortment of unique restaurants and specialty shops that welcome visitors throughout the Vintage Holiday event.  Many of the family owned and operated, independent stores that the town is famous for feature discounts on merchandise and complimentary drinks and snacks rewarding customers for shopping small.  Long Grove merchants, who sell everything from gourmet foods, jewelry and fashions to antiques, art and décor, are smart options for rare finds.   Isn’t it time you stopped by this Vintage Holiday season?

5 Ways Historic Long Grove is Transforming this October

Friday, October 12th, 2018

How an Emerging Destination Village Ties-in the Season to Draw-in Visitors!

It’s that time of year around the Midwest when the leaves have entered their final blaze of glory and the crisp cool air invigorates the soul.  There’s no better season than fall for enjoying all the wonders of historic Long Grove village located only 35 miles outside Chicago…

Once upon a time, Long Grove was a booming destination town for tourists.  Known for its cobblestone walkways, Victorian-era structures and quaint shops, downtown Long Grove is an island amidst a vast ocean of Chicago suburbia.  Visitors enter through a 100-year-old, single-lane bridge, the last of its kind in Illinois, and are instantly transported to a time bygone.  Unfortunately, Long Grove, like many other small Midwestern towns, was hit hard by the Great Recession a decade ago.  However, instead of throwing in the towel, the existing community here banded together and rallied in the wake of adversity.  Championed by the Historic Downtown Long Grove Business Association, today a new generation of boutiques and restaurants along with many time-tested favorites have helped recreate the buzz and revitalize the proud destination town.

In addition to being home to one of the most charming shopping and dining scenes, the magic of Long Grove can also be found in its seasonal public events and festivals that capture the imaginations of people young and old from around the region.  Whether its Chocolate Fest in the Spring, Strawberry Fest in the Summer, Apple Fest in the Fall, or Vintage Holidays in the Winter, the events here play off the season.  Likewise, this October Long Grove is transforming for a first time into “Halloween Town.”  Here’s five ways they’re going about it:

  1. Saturday, 10/13: Scarecrow Day

The suburb’s biggest homage to scarecrow-making returns to Historic Downtown Long Grove.  DIY Scarecrow Day is an afternoon dedicated to harvest charm and family fun.  Scarecrow engineers around the region are invited to amass in Long Grove’s Towner Green to build their own custom scarecrow modeled after whatever their hearts’ desire.  With a $5 voluntary donation per family, each set of builders will receive a wood base, a bale of hay, and building guidance.  Participants are asked to bring old clothing, shoes, hats, gloves, and accessories to dress their scarecrow (all leftovers will be donated).  Thereafter, all scarecrows are propped up throughout the village for the rest of the month adding a colorful backdrop for Halloween Town.

  1. Thursday, 10/18: Witches Night Out

From 5pm- 8pm throughout Halloween Town, stores will stay open late for grown-up witches and warlocks to have fun shopping, sipping and dining – with treats and specials planned for all the little pretties who attend.  Be sure to stop by Long Grove haunts: Confectionery, Within Reach, Olivia’s, Unwined, Buffalo Creek Brewing, Ma & Pa’s Candy Store, Country House, and Bella Donna.

  1. Wednesday, 10/24: Pumpkin Carving

From 4pm-7:30pm outside Country House (430 Robert Parker Coffin Rd), families are invited to put their imagination caps on and create their spookiest pumpkins to be displayed throughout Halloween Town throughout October.  Guests are asked to bring their own pumpkin if they wish to take it home or come with decoration supplies.

  1. Friday, 10/26: Trick or Treating

From 2pm-5pm, stores throughout Halloween Town will dole out sweets during a business community-wide Trick or Treating bonanza.

  1. Sunday, 10/28: Halloween Hound Parade

Pooches throughout the region are invited to don their best Halloween duds and howl at the moon at Halloween Town’s inaugural Halloween Hound Parade kicking off near the historic Long Grove Bridge!  Prizes will be awarded for the best pet costume based on originality, creativity, behavior, and theme with owners.  It’s a free to watch parade, and all dogs must remain leashed.  The event is co-sponsored with Renee Clark Real Estate Team @properties.

Long Grove’s seasonal charms will be on full display before, during and after Halloween Town – so visitors are urged to stay and play. What was once old is now new again as legions of people are rediscovering this historic destination town. Isn’t it time you take the short drive and see what all the fuss is about?!

If you want more details on Halloween Town, click here.  If you want more details on Long Grove shopping, click here.   Dining, click here.

 

Blog Author: Jody Grimaldi

Grimaldi Public Relations

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