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Downtown St. Charles

Downtown St. Charles

Set beside the natural beauty of the Fox River, Historic Downtown St. Charles offers residents and visitors an uncommon experience. A downtown that is steeped in rich history, surrounded by wonderful architecture, unique shops, eclectic restaurants and entertainment venues, renowned antique establishments and public art, awaits all who come to shop, dine and explore.

The Municipal Center, standing on the east shoreline of the Fox River, is a distinguishable landmark that serves as an anchor for the downtown business community.

The Hotel Baker, on Main Street in the heart of the downtown, is considered one of the most luxurious small hotels in the country. The “Crown Jewel of the Fox” dates back to 1928 and is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, building on its former splendor.

The Riverwalk along the Fox River offers a panoramic view of Historic Downtown St. Charles while serving as a popular recreational attraction for sightseers, joggers, bicyclists, walkers, or those who simply want to sit and relax.

Since its founding in 1834, St. Charles has been a community where the arts and family are valued. Pottawatomie Park, founded in 1911, is a scenic retreat nestled along the banks of the Fox River and was created for family gatherings.

The Pottawatomie Park Riverside Amphitheater was added in the ‘30s and in its past has hosted everything from the local beauty pageants to World War II band concerts. An annual live performing arts weekend is part of the summer event schedule. Two evenings of delightful, family theater have become a highly anticipated event among the community and beyond.

Every March, St. Charles celebrates Irish traditions and the wearin’ of the green with the annual St. Patrick’s Parade. Two large annual festivals attract thousands of visitors to Historic Downtown St. Charles. In June, the Pride of the Fox RiverFest hosts Dragon Boat Races, sand sculpting, a huge craft show and live music. The fall Scarecrow Festival features a display of more than 100 cleverly designed scarecrows, handcrafted by individuals and local organizations. It also offers live entertainment, carnival rides, Fox River cruises, crafts, great food from local restaurants and much more.

The holidays are extraordinary in Historic Downtown St. Charles beginning with the “Holiday Homecoming” festivities on the Friday evening after Thanksgiving, with the friday traditional lighting ceremony, followed on Saturday by more events complete with trolleys, horse-drawn carriages, fabulous merchants and merchandise. Make a day of it and then grab a piece of the sidewalk to view the spectacular Saturday evening St. Charles Electric Christmas Parade.

First Street is a mixed-use project that is located in an area bounded generally by the Fox River, Main Street/Route 64, Second Street/Route 31, and Prairie Street. This exhilarating redevelopment consists of residential, office and commercial space with attractive, functional public spaces.

It is rare that we have the opportunity to affect the future of the community in such a significant way. First Street is creating a unified development area where traffic can be controlled, parking is plentiful, and businesses are grouped and mixed to support each other. The environment is landscaped and geared toward a pedestrian-friendly, pleasant and attractive downtown experience that reflects the historic character, atmosphere and uniqueness that make St. Charles such a special place. As First Street takes shape, we look forward to the ambiance, sense of community and economic benefits this development brings to all of St. Charles. Visit www.1ststreetstc.org for the most up-to-date information on the progress of this project.

Historic St. Charles combines the charm of yesteryear with modern- day merchants offering all the goods and services today’s busy families need. Call (630) 513-5386 or visit www.dtown.org for more information.

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