Beverage crawl now part of Small Business Saturday in downtown Elgin
Elgin wants you to sip and stroll through the streets of downtown during Small Business Saturday.
The Downtown Neighborhood Association and the city have introduced the "Holiday Cheers" beverage crawl to their "Holly Days" happenings this year.
Twenty-three downtown businesses will take part in the crawl on Nov. 27, with most but not all being restaurants and bars. Tickets for the event are $20 and will be exchanged for a commemorative Holiday Cheers cup that can be filled at each of the locations. The beverages are nonalcoholic, but some vendors will offer alcoholic add-ins for an extra cost.
"Holiday Cheers and Holly Days are all part of finding ways to celebrate the holidays that are fun and safe and support our small businesses, all while engaging our community," said Jennifer Fukala, executive directo of the Downtown Neighborhood Association.
Proceeds from the tickets go back to the participating businesses, including Al's Cafe, Blue Box Cafe, Cook's Sweet Boutique, Elgin Public House, Kubo Sushi, Martini Room, Red Poppy Bistro, Vern's Tavern, and Viator Coffee.
"Ticket sales are going really well," said Jennifer Arndt, the neighborhood association's promotions manager. "We're very excited."
Each location will offer a holiday-themed beverage such as cocoa, apple cider, mint mocha, ponche navideño, buttered beer or various teas. Vendors' hours vary, but the event takes place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online, and a complete list of locations, beverages and service hours is available at DowntownElgin.com/HollyDays.
Holly Days was introduced last year to take the place of the annual Winter Wonderland event, which was canceled due to the pandemic.
"It has kind of become Winter Wonderland deconstructed," Arndt said. Many elements are still happening but not on the same day.
"Holly Days is designed to keep people coming downtown throughout the holiday season instead of focusing on one day," she said.
New to Holly Days this year is a pop-up market on Dec. 11. The market will feature holiday gifts and decor, gourmet sweets and more.
"We're trying to have a variety of vendors, so it's ideal for gift-giving items," Arndt said.
The market will feature live music by the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Santa will be available for photos by appointment on the downtown association's website.
The association also is partnering with Side Street Studio Arts. Fifteen storefront windows will be adorned with holiday art created by a group of curated artists.
"Despite the fact that our world is not all the way back to normal," Fukala said, "we're excited to be celebrating the holidays and finding new ways to bring people downtown."