4 Fun Things To Do in Elmhurst This Weekend:  June 23rd – 25th

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Summer is here and it’s time to enjoy everything Elmhurst has to offer! Here are 4 fun things for you to do around town this weekend.

Play the Role of a “Royal Family” at Smalley Swimming Pool


Enter your new kingdom with bravado and entitlement, commandeer prime seating under a giant umbrella, and empower your children to wreak havoc throughout the land. You and your family are the rulers of Norman P. Smalley Pool in York Commons Park. Your queen will enjoy uninterrupted iPhone usage from her makeshift castle of a half-dozen saved lawn chairs, while your king performs a variety of awkward and inappropriate behaviors throughout the afternoon.

  • Dates/Times:  Friday 12-7 p.m., Saturday, 12-7 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Location: 665 S. York St.
  • Cost/Fee:  Tot (2 and under) = Free, Youth (3-15 yrs.) = $7.00 resident/$9.00 non-resident, Adult (16-64 yrs.) = $8.00 resident/$11.00 non-resident, Senior (65 yrs.+) = $6.00 resident/$9.00 non-resident.

Enjoy After-Hours Skin Flicks on the “Explore Elmhurst Trolley”


Couples and lonely individuals who take pleasure in watching erotic films with strangers are encouraged to jump on the Explore Elmhurst Trolley this weekend to view a full feature presentation from the “After Dark” adult series on Cinemax.  The movies begin at 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday night.  

  • Dates/Times:  Friday and Saturday from 10:30 p.m. – 12 a.m.
  • Location:  See trolley stops here.
  • Cost: Free!
  • Trolley riders after 10:30 p.m. must be at least 21 years of age.

Find a Lost Dog


An average of 46 dogs are reported lost in Elmhurst each day. While most of them are later found in a separate wing of the owner’s home, the rest of these canines are roaming throughout town, waiting for you to become a hero by finding them and returning them to their owners. Through the use of social media and a vast network of Elmhurst animal lovers, the average lost dog is reunited with their owner in less than 60 minutes.

  • Time/Location:  Friday-Sunday during daylight hours
  • Location:  Residential streets and parks
  • Cost:  Free!

Go Snorkeling in Salt Creek


The Elmhurst Park District wants you to grab your fins, your face mask, and your Go Pro for an exciting dive into the murky depths of Salt Creek! You’ll encounter many of the common creatures found in and around the creek, like tadpoles, scuds and mosquito larvae. Participants are required to bring their own snorkeling equipment, including harpoons and spears.

  • Date/Time:  Saturday, June 24th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Location:  Canoe launch at Eldridge Park
  • Cost/Fee:  $12 residents/$17 non-residents
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City Dyes Salt Creek in Honor of Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade


by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Mayor Steve Morley – with the help of Elmhurst City Council members and Park District officials – temporarily changed the color of Salt Creek’s water to an emerald green this morning in honor of today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, pouring 15 pounds of an eco-friendly vegetable-based dye into the creek.

The process took place at the Elmhurst Salt Creek County Forest Preserve, just north of St. Charles Road and west of Route 83, where flour sifters were used to pour the powdery substance into the water. A small motorboat piloted by Mayor Morley helped spread the dye, and within an hour, nearly the entire Elmhurst segment of Salt Creek had turned green.

The creek color will return to its natural murky-brown by Sunday morning.

Filming Begins in Elmhurst for New ‘Million Dollar Listing’ Reality TV Series


by Dave Noble, Entertainment Editor

ELMHURST – Move over New York, Miami and San Francisco! The city of Elmhurst is ready to be featured in the next series spin-off from the hit Bravo cable television reality show “Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles”. Set to air this fall, shooting for “Million Dollar Listing Elmhurst” began earlier this month. The series chronicles the professional and personal lives of local real estate agents and the whirlwind adventures of selling high-end residential properties in Elmhurst.

“There’s a lot of competitiveness in the real estate market here, and some juicy storylines,” said series producer Ralph Gunner, who selected Elmhurst as the location for the fourth spin-off of Million Dollar Listing based on its rising million-dollar home sales and the propensity of Elmhurst homebuyers to tear down perfectly good houses and replace them with “McMansions” that often occupy up 95% of the lot size. “By the time we’re done filming this spring, we’ll have enough material for two or three seasons of shows.”

One of the agents featured on the series is Schiller Real Estate’s Mike Sparrow, known for being the man who not only sold the most expensive house ever listed in Elmhurst, but managed to unload a famously difficult property that had been on the market for more than ten years.

“I’ll do whatever it takes to close the deal,” said Sparrow, who in the opening episode slips one client a pair of free tickets to an Elmhurst College men’s basketball game and is later shown closing a deal with another client during the Turtle Racing Finals at The Club Shot & Beer. “If I have to wine and dine a client to make the deal, then that’s what I’m going to do.”

The series also features some of the home buyers, who are typically a husband and wife from Chicago with two kids, a disposable income and an urge to live in the Bank Robbery and Lost Dog Capital of the Western Suburbs. Agent Suzanne Phelps of Berkshire Hathaway is featured in an episode trying to meet the eccentric wishes of one couple who will only look at homes that are less than six months old and have a direct view of Wilder Mansion, The Prairie Path or Salt Creek.

“Most families looking at million-dollar listings just want an outdoor fireplace, an in-ground pool and a couple of media rooms,” said a frustrated Phelps in a scene filmed outside of Ace Hardware, where the 30-year veteran of the Elmhurst real estate market came up empty in her search for a water feature of any kind that would have been used to depict Salt Creek for her clients. “But I seem to get all the most difficult buyers.”

Local viewers will recognize various parts of Elmhurst that serve as a picturesque backdrop throughout the series, including the town’s majestic parking garages, empty downtown storefronts, and the quarry.  

Ask an Elmhurst Historian

Lifelong resident and local historian Marge Beamer answers questions from readers about the history of Elmhurst.

 

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Q:  My grandfather told me that the cops in Elmhurst have been conducting “safety checks” for decades.  Is he right?
A:
  He sure is!  Elmhurst was one of the first police departments in the country to conduct safety checks as a waste of police resources.  This 1966 photo of York at Schiller Street in downtown Elmhurst shows a police officer looking for impaired drivers and jaywalkers on a Saturday morning.

 

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Q:  I read somewhere that Hamburger Heaven used to be called something else.  What was it called?
A:  
“Hamburger Purgatory” opened in May of 1948.  After dismal sales during the first two years of business, the name was changed in 1950 to “Hamburger Heaven”.  Out of spite, the owners repositioned the layout of the building, forcing customers to place food orders while standing just a few feet away from the curb of North Avenue.

 

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Q:  Was there ever a time when residents were pleased with the shopping choices in downtown Elmhurst?

A:
 Not really.  Back in the 1960’s and 1970’s, downtown Elmhurst was a thriving business area and had almost no empty storefronts.  A variety of clothing and department stores helped make Elmhurst a well-rounded shopping experience.  But as the median income of residents increased dramatically during the 1980’s, people demanded more banks to deposit all of their money and more dessert shops to spend their disposable income.

 

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Q:  It seems that Elmhurst schools are always facing budget problems.  Has this always been the case?
A:
  Yes!  Back in 1895, students from the Churchville Schoolhouse actually taught each other after budget cuts forced the district to eliminate 75% of the teachers in Elmhurst schools.

 

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Q:  I made a lot of new friends when I moved to Spring Road in Elmhurst back in 2006 by hosting a St. Patrick’s Day Parade viewing party in my front yard.  What can you tell me about the history of this awesome event?
A:
  The parade was never received well by the people of Elmhurst until the early 2000’s, when the city began turning a blind eye toward spectator alcohol consumption.  In fact, the parade was often held on the last Saturday in February in the 1990’s (as shown in this 1998 photo) just to get it out of the way.

 

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Q:  When did the York Theatre open?
A:
  The original York Theatre opened in 1924, and the price of an adult admission back then was only $6.00!

 

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Q:  Was Salt Creek always as scuzzy and disease-infested as it is today?
A
:  Indeed it was!  These cattle from a 1920 photograph of Salt Creek died just minutes after drinking the water from the creek.

City Dyes Salt Creek in Honor of Elmhurst St. Patrick’s Day Parade

 

Photograph by Elisa Ridolphi

by Dave Noble, City News Editor

ELMHURST – Mayor Steve Morley – with the help of Elmhurst City Council members and Park District officials – temporarily changed the color of Salt Creek’s water to an emerald green this morning in honor of today’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade, pouring 15 pounds of an eco-friendly vegetable-based dye into the creek.

The process took place at the Elmhurst Salt Creek County Forest Preserve, just north of St. Charles Road and west of Route 83, where flour sifters were used to pour the powdery substance into the water.  A small motorboat piloted by Mayor Morley helped spread the dye, and within an hour, nearly the entire Elmhurst segment of Salt Creek had turned bright green.

The creek color will return to its natural murky-brown by Sunday morning.