A Message from the Executive Director
September was a busy month. The 2019 Arts Festival – September 7th and 8th – was a big success. 45 artists working in a variety of media made for record attendance. Thanks to our loyal sponsors: McDonald’s - Mundelein, Graber & Gyllenhaal Orthodontics - Vernon Hills, Gentle Dental Care – Mundelein, Great Lakes Credit Union - Bannockburn, Mundelein Community Bank, Mundelein Automotive, Stand up Mundelein, Tiemart, My Life In A Flash, and Taste of Paris. Thanks to our Purchase Award Sponsors: Art & Nature Eco Salon, Bill’s Pizza, Center for Wellness, DoubleTree by Hilton, GLMV Chamber of Commerce, Libertyville Area Moms, My Life In A Flash, Tiemart and Village of Mundelein, as well as the Kirk Players for Emerging Artist Award.
The 2019 Farmers Market was extended until October 11th. Thank you to all our vendors and sponsors: McDonald’s – Mundelein, The Family Stress Clinic, Dawn Abernathy, Tiemart, Mundelein Automotive, The UPS Store #1319 Libertyville, Echo Limousines, Elements Massage – Vernon Hills, Center for Wellness, Inc., Mundelein LGBT Alliance and Allies.
Santa Claus is Coming to Town
The MCC program year is winding down, but we still have one more big, fun, MCC family event coming up. That event is of course Santa’s Cottage. Starting Friday, December 6th Santa Claus will take up residence in his homey cottage next to the Village Hall for visits with children starting right after the Village Holiday Tree-Lighting Ceremony. The tree lighting will conclude about 6 pm. Santa will sit down to talk, one-on-one, with the kids until 8 pm.
Santa will return to the cottage on Saturday December 7th, December 14th and December 21st from noon to 3 pm. Goodie-bags, hot cocoa, and cookies will be provided to visitors. Warming shelter is available in the Village Hall and convenient free parking is available in the Metra lot south of the plaza. Happy Holidays!
Park-on-Park Celebrates Its 20th Anniversary in 2020
Looking ahead, we see that 2020 marks the 20th year of Park on Park Cruise Nights! It is hard to believe that this popular, summer fixture in downtown Mundelein is turning 20 next year. What started in 2000 as a small gathering of 11 classic (pre-1977) cars has grown into a monthly summer-jamboree gathering of over 500 cars when the weather is good. Visitors average 2000 per night. Cruise nights are held on the 2nd Wednesday of May, June, July, August and September.
The driving force behind the success of Park-on-Park is Pete Christie, who along with his son, Tony, and the members of the “On the Road Classics” car club, manages the events and secures sponsorships. 2019 had a record 50 business sponsors from throughout Lake County. In 2019 rain hampered the May and June events; but with perfect weather in July and August, car and visitor attendance exceeded expectations. The threat of rain reduced attendance in September, but the season closed on a positive note. Pete Christie, summed up this year’s event saying, “We are always at the mercy of the weather; but year in and year out, this is the biggest and best cruise event in Lake County. We are looking forward to a bigger and better 20th Anniversary Year!”
Farmers Market Extended for Two Weeks in October
The new market location on Park Street between Rt. 45 and Seymour Ave. has been very successful. The attractive, intimate setting has received enthusiastic, positive reviews from vendors, shoppers and downtown businesses. Market Manager, Gary Gunther, says that there have consistently been about 25 vendors each week, offering a nice mix of organic vegetables, meats, fish, cheese, pastries, and specialty foods, plus popular services like bicycle repairs, knife sharpening, and fast food. “A new liquor license permits the sale of beer and wine from the local restaurants to be carried into the market,” Mr. Gunther explained. “This change, plus outdoor dining at Tina G’s and Park Street Restaurants, and Open Mic nights at Area General Store have added to the fun atmosphere,” he added.
The success of the market led Mr. Gunther and the MCC Board to extend the event for two weeks beyond its planned closing date. Instead of closing on September 27th, as planned, the market continued through Friday, October 11th.
Around Town (Community News)
Historic Village Hall Comes Down
The former Village Hall at 440 East Hawley Street is gone! At the end of August, the venerable building was reduced to rubble in just few days. Commemorated on July 4th 1929, the building served as the seat of Village Government for nearly nine decades. Over the years, it also had a variety of other uses. It was the first Village fire station originally housing—Old #1, donated to the Village by Cardinal Mundelein. It was also at one time the city jail and police department, a community center, magistrate’s courtroom, Village Board room and water department. In 1972 the west addition was added to make room for expanding Village departments. In the late 1990’s a “temporary” annex was added for Village Board meetings in order to comply with the American with Disabilities Act. A number of architectural features, including a pallet of bricks was saved from the original structure. The Village Historical Commission will be determining how to distribute the bricks and display the salvaged artifacts.
Since moving into the new Village Hall five years ago, the Village Board has been trying to save the building from the wrecking ball. In June 2014 they formed a blue-ribbon Committee to study alternatives to demolition. The committee issued a detailed 80-page report in March of 2015 in which it recommended that the building be converted to a restaurant or cultural arts center. The cost of restoration was estimated to be $780,000, not including architectural design, engineering, and infrastructure upgrades. In 2017 and again in 2019, the Village sought bids from developers to renovate the structure consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. In spite of significant incentives offered by the Village to underwrite the cost, there were no takers. Eventually, a Mundelein construction company, Dziadus Development, submitted an acceptable proposal. Unfortunately, the cost of renovating and upgrading the 90-year old building was too great. The building had to come down. In place of the old 8,000 square foot building Dziadus will construct a two-story, 23,000 square foot, masonry building containing space for retail, restaurant, and/or office uses. The company will invest more than $7 million in the project for demolition, construction, public improvements and amenities. The redevelopment plan offers the potential to spur additional private investment and retail growth in the Downtown. MCC hates to see the historic building go, but welcomes new growth and investment and the expansion of business opportunities in Downtown Mundelein.
Fall Luncheon: Dover Straits Restaurant, October 16th, 11:30 am – 1:00 pm.
MCC Networking: Mundelein Village Hall, November 6, 8 am – 9 am
Santa’s Cottage: Village Hall Plaza, December 6th, (after the tree lighting) 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm.
Santa’s Cottage: Village Hall Plaza, December 7th, 14th and 21st, noon to 3 pm.
Business Networking Group: Mundelein Village Hall, December 5th, 8 am – 9 am.
Calendar of Upcoming Community Events
MHS Jazz Concert: October 23rd, 7 pm.
Boo Bash: October 27th, 3:30 pm to 6:30 pm. Mundelein Park District Community Center.
Pumpkin Drop: November 4th, 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. Community Park.
MHS Fall Play: The Elephant Man, November 21st, 22nd and 23rd, 7:30 pm.
Holiday Tree Lighting and Fireworks Display: December 6th, 5 pm to 6 pm, Village Hall Plaza.
MHS Choir Spotlight Event: December 6th, 7:30 pm.
MHS Band Concert: December 10th, 7 pm.
MHS Holiday Collage Concert: December 13th, 7 pm.
Support Downtown Events: Become a "Friend of MCC"
Mundelein Community Connection (MCC), is a non-profit, 501 C (3) Community Development Corporation. As such, donations to MCC are tax deductible. Each year MCC hosts a variety of community get-togethers in Downtown, including the Bike Rodeo (in conjunction with Ray’s Bike and Mower), Park on Park Cruise Nights (in conjunction with “On the Road Classics” car club), the Mundelein Craft Beer Festival (in conjunction with Tighthead Brewery), the Farmers Market, the Mundelein Fine Arts Festival (in conjunction with the Mundelein Park District), and Santa’s Cottage. Please check www.mundeleincommunityconnection.org
for the 2020 event calendar. In order to continue, and hopefully expand, these Downtown events we appreciate your financial support.
MCC started as Mundelein Pride in 1993. It operated as “Mundelein Main Street” for several years and became Mundelein Community Connection, when the Illinois Main Street network dissolved. MCC is governed by a 9-member Board of Directors whose mission is to organize, promote and host public events that foster pride in our community, and create an active, vibrant and welcoming Village. Hundreds of loyal volunteers donate their time each year to work at our events. In addition to working volunteers, MCC needs your financial support.
MCC has five sources of income: 1) an Annual Endowment
from the Village of Mundelein; 2) Corporate Benefactors
; 3) Event Sponsors
; 4) Participation Fees
; and 5) Friends of MCC Donations
. The Annual Endowment in 2019 was $20,000. Corporate Benefactors are businesses that donate $1,000 or more annually to support MCC. Event Sponsors donate to support a specific event of their choice. In 2019 MCC received support from over 100 businesses.
Participation Fees are paid by vendors at events such as the Arts Festival and the Farmers Market. All events other than the Craft Beer Festival are free to the public. Friends of MCC are individuals or small businesses that contribute financially to support the work of MCC. Suggested annual donations are: Individual/Family - $45.00; Business - $200; Not-for-Profit - $35.00; but, donations of any level are warmly appreciated. Visit the MCC website, www.mundeleincommunityconnection.org
for more information, or contact Executive Director, Terry Skriba at 847-970-9235, or send your donation to: Mundelein Community Connection, 469 N. Seymour Avenue, Mundelein, IL 60060.