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    Calling all volunteers!

    Waukegan Main Street needs volunteers for upcoming HolidayWauk/December ArtWauk on December 16th! Call to volunteer: 847.623.6650

Official Tree Lighting-Music to Our Ears

Lee England, Jr. Plays for Hometown Crowd

First, a big THANK YOU to everyone who participated in our Official Tree Lighting in Jack Benny Plaza in downtown Waukegan on December 2nd!  Wow!  What a night, what a turnout, what a good time.

If you missed it, here are some the highlights:

The Waukegan Park District kicked off the fun with a Winter Wonder Walk around downtown.  The Walk was part of their Go Waukegan initiative to get Waukeganites up, moving and healthier!

 

 

Judith Garcia – Realtor supplied hot chocolate to the crowd from her table in Urban Edge.  She was incredibly busy. We were glad to have caught this picture before the mad rush!

 

 

 

 

Dawn Simerly, City of Waukegan Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, helped people decorate ornaments in Urban Edge.  She then wrapped the ornaments beautifully so they could be given as gifts.  People, especially children, enjoyed displaying their creativity.

Holiday coloring pages were also available to children.  The kids could hang their completed works in the windows or take them home.

 

 

Santa Claus sat at the Genesee Theatre for pictures  during the late afternoon and evening.  Earlier in the day, Santa walked around downtown, waving at cars and taking selfies with families going to the “Garfield Christmas”, also at the Genesee.

Outside, the crowd grew with anticipation as Mayor Sam Cunningham led the countdown to tree lighting then ceremoniously flipped the switch!

 

 

 

 

And finally, internationally acclaimed, Waukegan born and raised Lee England Jr. entertained the crowd of over 300 with holiday tunes, including “Jingle Bells‘ where he invited everyone to singalong. 

 

We already have ideas for next year!  Join us on Saturday, December 1st, 2018.  Explore Waukegan.  Join the fun in downtown Waukegan. #ExploreWaukegan

<span style="font-family: georgia, palatino, serif; font-size: 8pt;">Left to Right: Waukegan Main Street: Board Member and Promotions Chair Anton Mathews, Board President Tamika Jones, Executive Director Arthur Cobb, Jr.</span>
Left to Right: Waukegan Main Street: Board Member and Promotions Chair Anton Mathews, Board President Tamika Jones, Executive Director Arthur Cobb, Jr.

Community Transformation Workshop a Success!

WMS workshop 5
Photo credit: Jamie O’Meara

Nearly 50 Main Street American professionals from city across the United States participated in a hands-on workshop in Waukegan last week, as day two of a three day intensive workshop. The day spent in town concentrated on the economic impact of real estate development in revitalization. Donovan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics, an internationally renowned expert in real estate and economic development, led the instructional sessions focused on various modeling, analyses and tools used to evaluate and predict the results of new incentives in specific conditions, determine feasibility of real estate acquisition and development of historic properties, and drive strategic decisions for vacant property.

WMS workshop 2
Photo credit: Jamie O’Meara

The group toured the downtown, calculated the cost of an empty building and participants were given advanced tools and strategies to address complex revitalization projects and initiatives with a strong emphasis on Economic Vitality.  Emphasizing the importance of partnerships and collaboration, this format provides a learning environment that draws upon the experience and expertise of both the instructors and the participants.

The group enjoyed lunch and a post-workshop networking session at 17 North.

 

Waukegan is a longtime Main Street community.  Main Street America has been helping revitalize older and historic commercial districts for more than 35 years. Today it is a network of more than 1,600 neighborhoods and communities, rural and urban, who share both a commitment to place and to building stronger communities through preservation-based economic development. Main Street America is a program of the nonprofit National Main Street Center, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Community Transformation Workshop

Natl Main St Workshop 11 16

 

Waukegan Main Street will be the host of a Day 2 of the Community Transformation Workshop offered by the Main Street America Institute.  The Community Transformation Workshop is an intensive, interactive three-day experience,  filled with educational sessions and exercises aimed to provide participants with advanced tools and strategies to address complex revitalization projects and initiatives through the lens of the refreshed Main Street Approach, with a strong emphasis on Economic Vitality.

Day 2 will concentrate on the economic impact of real estate development in revitalization.  Donovan Rypkema, Principal, PlaceEconomics  and an internationally renowned expert in real estate and economic development, will lead the instructional sessions focused on various modeling, analyses and tools.  These tools are used to evaluate and predict the results of new incentives in specific conditions, determine feasibility of real estate acquisition and development of historic properties, and drive strategic decisions for vacant property. Waukegan is a longtime Main Street community and the instructor and participants will take on a hands-on assignment in which they will apply concepts learned during the morning session.

Join us in welcoming the group to the City of Waukegan!