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posted: 4/7/2013 4:40 AM

Impressed by Elgin's new vibrancy

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Impressed by Elgin's new vibrancy

I recently attended an Elgin Symphony Orchestra performance "Time for Spring." As a former subscriber I was looking forward to seeing the ESO for the first time since I moved from Elgin in 2005.

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The talent and passion of the ESO is as outstanding as I remember it being, and the Hemmens remains a great venue for this type of show. The excellence of the ESO was expected, and is not the point of my writing.

One of the challenges of supporting the ESO years ago was the difficulty of making a nice evening out of attending a show, as the dining options in downtown Elgin were so limited. I'm pleased and amazed by the degree to which that has changed. Attending with a friend we arrived early, parked for free, and enjoyed a wonderful meal prior to the concert.

We then chose to walk to the venue for a "Meet the Performers" event also being held downtown. I cannot express how amazed I was to find a place packed with people of all ages, with a band playing, and serving food after 10 p.m. We enjoyed a wonderful evening, stayed out way too late, enjoyed the brisk walk back to my car, and are actually looking forward to visiting downtown Elgin again.

I extend my congratulations to all of those who played a role in supporting this evolution of Downtown Elgin. Vibrant downtowns are vital to a both a community's self-image as well as their economic vitality. You can be assured that I'll be telling others, and will be bringing many of them with the next time I visit.

John McKevitt

Riverside

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