Make Memories to Cherish at Waukegan HolidayWauk

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WAUKEGAN, ILL. Nov. 25, 2013—Few memories endure like the ones you make while celebrating the year-end holidays with family and friends. You can make new memories to cherish while enjoying familiar traditions—or learning about traditions from other cultures—during HolidayWauk in historic downtown Waukegan on Saturday, Dec. 7. The event offers movie screenings, art activities and more for children and adults of all ages.

Highlights of the daylong event include photographs with Santa Claus on the stage of the Genesee Theatre, seasonal melodies from the Salvation Army Band and the lighting of the holiday tree in Jack Benny Plaza.  Free parking will be available on the streets and all surface lots.

Family-friendly activities begin at 10 a.m. and run through 5 p.m.

“HolidayWauk gets everyone into the spirit of the season. It’s fun to see the decorated storefronts and to take part in craft activities throughout the Main Street District,” said Jane Ferry, executive director of Waukegan Main Street.

“At this year’s HolidayWauk, we want to celebrate the true spirit of the season by encouraging visitors to ‘give back’ to those who are less fortunate. For example, you may donate new toys to Toys for Tots at Your This And That Shop, or non-perishable food items for local families at Nele’s ArtGallery. In addition, kids can stop by State Rep. Rita Mayfield’s office to make cards for veterans staying in the LovellMedicalCenter over the holidays.”

All HolidayWauk events are free, unless otherwise noted. Here’s the rundown so far:

  • Decorate cookies with Nettie Mojarro. If you’d like to participate, please donate a non-perishable food item. 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nele’s ArtGallery, 106 S. Genesee St.
  • Create holiday ornaments with Patrick Tufo. 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tufo Galerie, 116b N. Genesee St.
  • Holiday Coloring Contest. Bags containing a holiday coloring sheet, a set of crayons and a coupon will be available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Return completed sheets for judging according to age category for cash prizes. Your This And That Shop, 114 N. Genesee St.
  • Performances by choirs from GlenFloraElementary School, JackBennyMiddle School and AbbottMiddle School. Noon to 1:30 p.m., Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St.
  • Pre-Kwanzaa Demonstration, Crafts and Marketplace, with vendors offering crafts and light refreshments. Free craft activities for children. Noon to 4 p.m., College of Lake County, 33 N. Genesee St.
  • Holiday Cards for Veterans. Children can create cards to send to veterans at LovellMedicalCenter in North Chicago. Noon to 4:30 p.m., State Rep. Rita Mayfield’s office, 120 S. Genesee St.
  • Free family art projects, sponsored by the Waukegan Park District. Noon to 4:00p.m.  Lake Surf Designs, 118 S. Genesee St.
  • Holiday Pet Photos, sponsored by W.A.G.S. Participation fee required. Noon to 6 p.m., Karcher ArtSpace, 405 Washington St.
  • Kinder Fest, featuring child-friendly activities such as making jewelry and baking cookies. Participation fee required. Noon to 6 p.m., Karcher ArtSpace, 405 Washington St.
  • Caroling led by Waukegan High School Tri-M Music Honor Society Chapter. 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Your This And That Shop, 114 N. Genesee St. Hot chocolate, cider and coffee will be available.
  • Salvation Army Band. 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., in front of the Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St.
  • Screening of “The Santa Claus,” the 1994 Tim Allen comedy about an ordinary man who must take over Santa’s job when the jolly old elf is killed in an accident. 1:30 p.m., Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.
  • Pictures with Santa, for children of all ages. Starts at 1:30 p.m., Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St.
  • Holiday Story Time, featuring readings by City Clerk Artis Yancey plus free cookies. 4:15 p.m. to 4:45 p.m., Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St.
  • Lighting of the holiday tree, featuring Mayor Wayne Motley and music by the Salvation Army Band. 5 p.m., JackBennyPlaza at the corner of Clayton and Genesee Streets.

Many downtown stores and galleries will offer seasonal sales and refreshments. Among them:

  • Horsefeathers, 129 N. Genesee St., is holding its winter sale with 20 percent off full-priced merchandise and special offers on body jewelry. The store opens at 10 a.m.
  • Your This And That Shop, 114 N. Genesee St., offers unique gifts for the holidays—and staff members are willing to haggle. Visitors can enjoy free light beverages to keep warm during HolidayWauk. The store opens at 11 a.m.
  • The Gift Cellar, 7 N. County St., celebrates its ninth anniversary with seasonal sales, hot soups and ciders to taste and much more, starting at noon.
  • Federal Supply, 116 Washington St., offers seasonal snacks and sales starting at noon.
  • Big Ed’s, 30 N. Genesee St., will host a Scentsy representative starting at noon.  Big Ed’s will also be offering a special on their famous pulled pork sandwich.

For more information, visit WaukeganMainStreet.org or call 847-623-6650.

Event Summary

What: HolidayWauk
Where: Downtown Waukegan, Genesee Street between Lake Street and Grand Avenue
When: Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

About Waukegan Main Street

Waukegan Main Street is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to rebuilding and reinventing Waukegan’s historic downtown business district by partnering with residents, small-business owners, property owners, developers, the City of Waukegan and entities such as the Waukegan Park District, the Waukegan Port District and the Waukegan Public Library. With programs that help small businesses thrive and events that bring people of all ages downtown, Waukegan Main Street is a driving force in creating a more vibrant downtown.

Media Contacts: Jane Ferry, 847-623-6650, jane@waukeganmainstreet.org.

Pictures from last year available upon request.

RELATED LINKS
www.WaukeganMainStreet.org

###

Chase Mission Main Street 2013 and our Downtown!

MissionMainSt

Four downtown businesses are working toward a Chase Main Street Mission 2013 Grant to be awarded in January 2014 and they need your help!   The grant is worth $250,000 and you can vote for all of them to get them to the next round in the award process.

Here’s the link to vote: https://www.missionmainstreetgrants.com/search/businesses

Type 60085 in the Business Name or Zip box in the middle of the screen then vote. Voting requires authorization from a Facebook account.

The businesses going for the award in our Main Street District are:
Big Ed’s Bar & Grill – wants to grow so we can have more exceptional BBQ
Green Town Tavern – wishes to expand their offerings including pizza
Little Fort Media – wants to enhance their design and printing capabilities
Rhythm Academy of Dance – lost their lease and need to relocate

We’d love to see all four of the businesses in our Main Street District win so share the link with your friends! If you have questions about the Grant or the process, click here.

How would you like to own a piece of history?

This Friday, October 25th, is the eighth annual Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival sponsored by our award winning Waukegan Public Library and held at the beautifully renovated Genesee Theatre. If you are one of the first 100 people attending the Storytelling Festival, you will receive a copy of Fahrenheit 451 from Ray Bradbury’s estate!  Doors open at 6:30pm.

The Waukegan Public Library was named in Bradbury’s estate, offering members of the Library staff, including Director Richard Lee, a chance to travel to Bradbury’s home in Los Angeles. The end result? A 53-foot trailer loaded with Bradbury’s personal collection of books and manuscripts, one of Ray’s typewriters, posters from his home, a large portrait of Ray, bottles of Dandelion Wine, and a garage full of overstock Bradbury paperbacks.

Bradbury's Bookcases

The Storytelling Festival features renown professional storytellers Megan Wells, Jim May and Jay O’Callahan performing stories from banned books, including Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury’s famous novel about a future with no books. A mock book burning will be held before the Storytelling Festival begins.

I haven’t missed a Bradbury Storytelling Festival yet and don’t intend to miss this one.  There’s nothing like sitting in a darken (possibly haunted) theatre, listening to scary stories to set the Halloween mood. Join me!

~Jane Ferry
Executive Director

ZombieWauk – A Success!

Despite the chill in the air and the intermittent rain, the ZombieWauk participants had a great time. Much thanks goes to Waukegan Arts District for all their effort! A big thank you goes to all the Waukegan Main Street volunteers who cleaned the street, decorated and were information ambassadors.

Katherine Hughes, protecting us all from zombies.
Volunteer Katherine Hughes, protecting us from zombies.

Read the whole story in the Lake County News-Sun and plan on being part of the fun next year.

~Jane Ferry
Executive Director

Weekend Entertainment from Z to A

We’ve got you covered for entertainment this weekend!  Saturday is full of fun and adventure as ZombieWauk runs from 1pm – 2am and our monthly ArtWauk goes from 5 – 9pm.  Let’s start with ZombieWauk.  Here’s the line up of things to do – and, thanks to the hard work by Waukegan Arts District, all activities and events are FREE unless otherwise noted.

ZombieWauk 2013 Schedule

ZombieWauk has been growing in popularity over the years.  This year, the third annual ZombieWauk, was rated #4 in the 5 Things to do in the Lake County News-Sun and #2 in the Daily Herald Weekend Watch, Things to do around Lake County!

Zombies aren’t your thing?  ArtWauk will keep you busy, too.  Here’s the ArtWauk Schedule.  Sunday the entertainment continues with a matinee of witty comedy “Carnegie Hill” at Clockwise Theatre located at 211 North Genesee Street, tickets are $20, and Jazz Wave at Three Brothers Theatre, 115 North Genesee Street, at 6pm for free.

Haven’t been to downtown Waukegan in awhile?  Make it your destination this weekend.

~Jane Ferry
Executive Director

Univision Chicago Broadcasts from the Genesee Theatre

Univision Truck Outside the Genesee

Univision Chicago broadcasted their evening news at 5pm tonight from Grand Lobby of the Genesee Theatre.   La Que Buena 105.1 radio was also broadcasting before the 5pm news started from the Storm Lobby.

La Que Buena 105.1

Plenty of people stopped by to meet the Emmy-nominated news anchor, Angelica Atondo, and stood behind her while she delivered the news.  She talked to City of Waukegan Special Projects Manager Jorge Torres about Waukegan and our upcoming events.  Immediately after the broadcast, Ms. Atondo greeted her fans and signed autographs.

We were thrilled Univision Chicago chose Waukegan and the beautifully renovated Genesee Theatre as their backdrop tonight!  Much thanks goes to the City of Waukegan, David Motley and Jorge Torres for their efforts leading to a successful broadcast.

~Jane Ferry
Executive Director

 

Monsters and Merrymakers to Besiege Waukegan During ZombieWauk on Oct. 19

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

WAUKEGAN, ILL. Oct. 14, 2013—Beware the undead: They will shuffle, lurch and even dance their way through the streets of historic downtown Waukegan during ZombieWauk on Saturday, Oct. 19. The event, marking the unofficial start of Halloween and Day of the Dead celebrations, offers costume contests, pumpkin chucking, movie screenings, live music, art activities and more for children and adults of all ages.

Highlights of the daylong event include the Zombie Prom, the Pumpkin Chuckin’ Contest, costume contests for children and pets, and screenings of “Frankenweenie” and “Young Frankenstein.” Family-friendly activities begin at 1 p.m. and run through late evening. Activities designed for adults only begin at 7 p.m.

“ZombieWauk allows you to experience Halloween or Day of the Dead through different lenses—literature, visual arts, performing arts and participatory art,” said Jennifer Moore, a co-founder of Waukegan Arts District, the primary sponsor of the event. “Art is more than just about hanging something on the wall. You can be a part of the art, not just look at it. It’s an immersion experience.”

All ZombieWauk events are free, unless otherwise noted. Here’s the rundown:

  • Screening of “Frankenweenie,” director Tim Burton’s stop-motion homage to the 1931 film “Frankenstein.” Free popcorn for all guests. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.
  • Reading of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, featuring storyteller Heather Crain. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., courtyard at Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.
  • Zombie face painting by “Dungeon of Doom” artist Chuck Castellanos. $5 donation per person. 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., courtyard at Waukegan Public Library, 128 N. County St.
  • Second Annual WAGS Pet Promenade and Costume Contest. 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Jack Benny Plaza, at the corner of Clayton and Genesee Streets. For more details, go to www.facebook.com/events/202573066579449/
  • Yappy Hour, pet photos ($5) and Sugar Skull activity ($10 per child, including meal; $10 per adult, with $5 voucher toward dinner purchase). 3:30 p.m. to 5 p.m., Jerry’s Taco’s, 120 N. Genesee St
  • Third Annual Kids Costume Competition. First, second and third prizes will be awarded. 3:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. (line up for judging by 3:15 p.m.), Jack Benny Plaza, at the corner of Clayton and Genesee Streets.
  • Pumpkin Chuckin’ Contest. Teams representing several local pubs will attempt to throw, roll, slingshot and catapult pumpkins 300 feet—and no farther—for bragging rights plus enormous trophies artistically “reanimated” from parts of old trophies. 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Parking Lot D, at the corner of Clayton Street and Sheridan Road.
  • ZombieWauk Fun at Family Piano Co., featuring coloring/drawing contests with prizes, photos with Frankenstein and Elvis, hot cocoa and hot apple cider, and more. 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., Family Piano Co., 114 S Genesee St. For more details, go to www.facebook.com/events/644441982242880/?notif_t=plan_user_invited.
  • Matinee presentation of the play “I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” $10 admission. 5 p.m., Three Brothers Theatre Co., 115 N. Genesee St.
  • Free Art Passport program. Visit all six participating galleries to get your passport “stamped,“ collect free art, and get a chance to win tickets to the Ray Bradbury Storytelling Festival. 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., participating gallery locations. For a list of participating galleries, go to www.facebook.com/zombiewauk
  • Third Annual Metal on the Rocks, featuring performances by seven bands. 5 p.m. to midnight (all ages admitted until 7 p.m., 21 and over after 7 p.m.; ID required), La Opera Grill & Bar, 133 N Genesee St. For details on acts, go to www.facebook.com/events/547882081928086/.
  • Green Town Yoga Club demonstrations. 5:15 p.m., Jack Benny Plaza, at the corner of Clayton and Genesee Streets; and. 7:30 p.m., Lake Surf Designs, 118 S. Genesee St.
  • Screening of “Young Frankenstein,” Mel Brooks’ affectionate parody of classic horror films. 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., Genesee Theatre, 203 N. Genesee St.
  • Zombie Prom, featuring tune-spinning by the talented Gina G. Prizes will be awarded for best couple in costume, scariest costume and most creative costume. Admission is free, but $5 donations will be accepted to support Waukegan Arts District’s 2014 Summer Saturdays concert series. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m., the Starlight Lounge at 17 North Bar & Grill, 17 N. Genesee St.
  • Late-night presentation of the play “I Survived the Zombie Apocalypse and All I Got Was This Lousy T-Shirt.” $10 admission. 11 p.m., Three Brothers Theatre Co., 115 N. Genesee St.

“There’s so much going on in the world today, with the government shutdown and disaster preparedness mantras and counterculture movements all about self-reliance. Zombies make that fun. They also take your mind off things you don’t want to think about,” Moore said.

The third annual ZombieWauk, which coincides with the October ArtWauk, is co-sponsored by Waukegan Arts District, Waukegan Main Street, Waukegan Public Library, WAGS (Waukegan Animals Getting Saved), the Genesee Theatre, the City of Waukegan and Lake County Board Commissioner Bill Durkin.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/WaukeganArtsDistrict, or www.WaukeganMainStreet.org.

Event Summary

What: ZombieWauk

Where: Downtown Waukegan, Genesee Street between Lake Street and Grand Avenue

When: Saturday, Oct. 19, 1 p.m. to 2 a.m.

About Waukegan Arts District

Waukegan Arts District aims to create and support sustainable arts-based micro-economies through education, community outreach and arts-based entertainment programs that create revenue opportunities for local artists and artisans.

About Waukegan Main Street

Waukegan Main Street is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to rebuilding and reinventing Waukegan’s historic downtown business district by partnering with residents, small-business owners, property owners, developers, the City of Waukegan and entities such as the Waukegan Park District, the Waukegan Port District and the Waukegan Public Library. With programs that help small businesses thrive and events that bring people of all ages downtown, Waukegan Main Street is a driving force in creating a more vibrant downtown.

Media Contacts: Jennifer Moore, 847-757-7562, waukeganartsdistrict@gmail.com; or Jane Ferry, 847-623-6650, jane@waukeganmainstreet.org.

 

RELATED LINKS

Follow Waukegan Arts District on Twitter: @WaukeganArtsDis

www.facebook.com/WaukeganArtsDistrict

www.WaukeganMainStreet.org

###

 

 

 

 

Winner of Outstanding Main Street Business: Green Town Tavern!

Green Town Tavern is the sole winner the Illinois Main Street 2013 Outstanding Main Street Business award.  Green Town exemplifies what it takes to establish not only a business but a destination in a section of downtown that was problematic. The business has attracted other businesses to the area. Waukegan Main Street hears from “north side” businesses that the “south side” gets all of the attention, a complete reversal of the complaints 10 years ago.  Green Town’s product is consistent, reasonably priced and tastes good, it fills a market niche in Waukegan. Families are welcomed. The night crowd enjoys the 100 beers available from a well stocked bar, fun promotions and activities. Owner Bob Sobol supports the downtown and larger Waukegan community and has actively partnered with Main Street from the inception of his business.

From Bob Sobol’s perspective:

From an independent business owner’s perspective, I saw the value of Waukegan Main Street (WMS) as a collaborative partner.  We worked with them when we first opened to make the exterior friendlier and more welcoming through SLAP.  Being able to make the external changes with the financial help from WMS allowed us to focus more money on the internal changes, such as repainting the dining area and upstairs.  I’ve noticed that several downtown businesses have taken advantage of this program as well, updating our main street, without disturbing the unique architecture of each building.

Main Street helped spread the word to the City Hall and County Courthouse that we are open for lunch – and that we understand people have tight schedules.  Between the two buildings approximately 900 people are working three to four blocks away from our door, so letting them know we were here was imperative to our success.

WMS has improved the foot traffic in downtown Waukegan by putting on, participating in and promoting a number of events throughout the year.  Each event is open to the public and targeted at different audiences; because the events are consistently good, a stable core of people come to all of them and sometimes bring their friends.  I believe that we have to promote the whole area, not just individual businesses, to boost the customer base.

Another area where WMS bolstered business is their consistent weekly calendar of events.  Any business or organization in the Main Street District is welcome to submit event information and the calendar goes to 3000 email addresses, the vast majority of those being local.  When people get listings with consistently accurate information, they rely on it to help fill their own schedules.  I’m an active owner and talk to people about what brings them downtown.  While they might not mention Main Street by name, they talk about seeing a Tweet or Facebook posting or calendar listing – and they and their friends just happened to be looking for something to do.

I was impressed enough with Main Street and the Main Street Approach that I served on the Board and joined the Executive Committee when asked.  Serving allowed me to give back to Main Street and the community.  It let me help shape the strategic plan for the next several years and it provided a vehicle for me to share my experiences with new business owners.  Because of the information available to me as a Main Street Board Member, I could speak both from a position of authority and a little more intelligently about the advantages of opening a business downtown. Ultimately, serving on the Board and partnering with Main Street put me on the frontlines of generating more economic development for downtown.  I especially enjoyed – still enjoy – working with businesses on the cutting edge of a new area.  When we opened on South Genesee Street, several people said, “Are you crazy?!  No one’s going to come to this neighborhood to eat … and certainly not at night!”  Now I see those same people coming to dinner here at least once a week, and smile.

Congratulations, Bob and Green Town Tavern!
~Jane Ferry
Executive Director

Main St Outstanding Biz Award

Marc Scherer Featured at Annual Meeting

Marc Scherer Annual Mtg

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Genesee Theatre’s Marc Scherer Is Featured Speaker at Waukegan Main Street’s Annual Meeting

WAUKEGAN, ILL., Sept. 27, 2013— Marc Scherer, marketing manager for the Genesee Theatre, was  the featured guest speaker at Waukegan Main Street’s annual meeting and luncheon, Sept. 25 at the Waukegan Yacht Club,199 N. Harbor Place, Waukegan, Ill.

“The Genesee and Waukegan Main Street have common goals in attracting more people to Waukegan’s downtown. It’s an exciting time now that the theater is under new management. I’m eager to share future events and plans with the community,” Scherer said.  Scherer went out to tell the nearly 60 participants about acts that have either been booked or are in the works and that the Theatre hopes to book 150 shows per year.   

Scherer is part of the new management team, Northbrook-based Churchill Productions, selected in July to manage operations at the historic Genesee Theatre in downtown Waukegan.

Jamie O’Meara, Waukegan Main Street Board President, opened the meeting with an introduction of Main Street.  O’Meara said, “The Main Street program is a national program of proven economic revitalization/development through historic preservation. In Illinois the program is administered through the Dept of Economic Opportunity. Why am I telling you this? Because we feel it’s important for everyone to understand that although small, we are mighty…with local, State and national expertise and support. This gives us a big toolbox. And when we add the amazing support of our partners and the multitude of skills our volunteers bring to the organization, how can we not succeed?”

Also featured on the agenda was Jane Ferry, who was named executive director of Waukegan Main Street in August.  Ferry gave her background, covered the new businesses in Main Street District that have opened in the last year and quoted one of the recent Japanese Sister City visitors who said that she remembered visiting Waukegan years ago and how beautifully the city has changed.  Ferry added, “Each one of us who has worked in big or small part toward the revitalization of the City of Waukegan should take her comment as a compliment … and a reminder that hard work pays off.”

About Waukegan Main Street

Waukegan Main Street is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to rebuilding and reinventing Waukegan’s historic downtown business district by partnering with residents, small-business owners, property owners, developers, the City of Waukegan and entities such as the Waukegan Park District, the Waukegan Port District and the Waukegan Public Library. With programs that help small businesses thrive and events that bring people of all ages downtown, Waukegan Main Street is a driving force in creating a more vibrant downtown.

Media Contact: Jane Ferry, 847-623-6650, jane@waukeganmainstreet.org.

RELATED LINKS

www.WaukeganMainStreet.org

Photo Credit: Ali Albakri