Local business owner Katie Dolan Dix said that when the Mount Prospect Downtown Merchants Association formed roughly 10 years ago, it served as a kind of support group for the members.
"We were all working people who had similar concerns and issues, so it was nice to be able to get together in the same room and talk about it," said Dix, an association member and co-owner of Capannari Ice Cream.
Contact information ( * required )
When: 3 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 23
Where: Check in at the Metra commuter station, 11 E. Northwest Hwy., Mount Prospect
Info: $10 registration fee; visit downtownmountprospect.com
Today, the group is a seasoned organizer of events that have become popular annual traditions in the village, not to mention important draws to the downtown area.
The association's newest event will take place this weekend. The Summer Slide Pub Crawl will take place from 3 to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 23.
Participants will check in at the Metra commuter station on Northwest Highway -- there's a $10 registration fee -- and then they'll visit a slew of eating/drinking establishments in the downtown. After finishing the crawl, they can enter a raffle that offers a 55-inch television as its grand prize.
The venues participating in the pub crawl are Mia's Cantina, Sam's Place, Mrs. P & Me, Blues Bar BBQ Grill and Emerson's Ale House.
"We were looking for a new event that would complement what we already do and highlight the great restaurants we have," said Roberta Hamann, an association member who chaired its Pub Crawl Committee. "I think people will love this one."
The Downtown Merchants Association organizes the popular Bluesmobile Cruise Night car shows that take place from May to September, as well the annual Oktoberfest event. The group also helps with the village's Fridays on the Green outdoor concerts.
Hamann said the association hopes the Pub Crawl will become just as popular as those other events.
"It's definitely something we'd like to hold every year," she said.
The association, which formed in 2003 and started operating in earnest in 2004, consists of roughly 50 businesses and civic groups. The members work to promote each other and raise awareness about the downtown area.
Community events will continue to be a focus for the association, members say, though the group also plans to hire an outside consultant to help with its marketing and branding efforts.
Marcin Bos, president of the association, said the group is fortunate to have strong relationships with agencies like the village and the Mount Prospect Chamber of Commerce, as well as the community at large.
"The support we've gotten for our other events has been amazing," Bos said. "We hope the same happens with the Pub Crawl. We just need the weather to cooperate with us a bit!"