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Naturally McHenry County

McH THRIVE newsletter… a must read!

McH THRIVE Update!

Resume McHenry County becomes McH THRIVE!

With the end of the state and federal COVID-19 states of emergency, it’s time to stop talking about resuming life as normal and dedicate it to moving ahead, together, better than before.

We deserve the opportunity that lies before us… our manufacturers and small businesses, our workforce, our tourism industry, our agriculture and agritourism sectors and our economic development agencies and chambers of commerce… all of us deserve the opportunity to THRIVE!

Thank you for reading and subscribing to the new McH THRIVE! You can help us continue to grow by forwarding this email to people who you think would enjoy it. They can subscribe by visiting or on social media.

It’s summer festival season in McHenry County!

Regular readers of McH Thrive know McHenry County is home to fun activities all year long, be it in January cold or July heat. But there’s just something about summer festivals that makes them special – and when it comes to summer fun, McHenry County is the place to be!

Every year, our friends at Naturally McHenry County publish their awesome list of can’t miss summer events, which you can find by clicking here. As always, we kick things off and greet summer (and summer vacation for kids!) with Harvard Milk Days, which takes place the weekend of June 2.

But make sure you keep reading this week’s edition, because there’s a new addition to McHenry County’s list, and it looks like it’s going to be awesome! We’ll tell you all about it below.

Besides festivals, McHenry County is home to some of the state’s best farmers’ markets (again, keep reading!), outdoor events, summer sports, you-pick flowers and crops, and so much more. Click here for some more lists of great summer fun.

Annual high school incubator pitch night a hit

Earlier this month, Prairie Ridge High School hosted its annual Incubator Pitch Night.

Juniors and seniors taking a dual-credit business class form teams and work on a business, a pitch, and a product during the school year, and then present their ideas and business concepts at the year-end event.

Congratulations to the students for once again amazing everyone with their drive and ingenuity. And congratulations as well to local manufacturers Fabrik Molded PlasticsMAC Automation and Jessup Manufacturing, for being recognized for the help they gave the students throughout the school year as they developed their products and prototypes.

McHenry County’s trails are calling to you

Are you looking for some great summer exercise through McHenry County’s natural beauty?

Our county is criss-crossed with hiking and biking trails maintained by our McHenry County Conservation District, local park districts, and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources – many of which cross through parks, conservation areas and other natural habitats.

McHenry County maintains an interactive GIS map of our bike trail systems that includes parking, local bicycle shops and other stops – click here to check it out!

Farmers Market+ at the Dole returns outdoors this Sunday

The award-winning Farmers Market+ at the Dole returns to its summer outdoor schedule this Sunday!

As usual, they’re pulling out all the stops with seven food vendors, face painting and balloon art for kids, a bar (including the Dole’s legendary Bloody Marys), live music, and more – on top of the Dole’s wide selection of locally made and locally grown goods.

The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Dole Mansion, 401 Country Club Road, in Crystal Lake, and returns every Sunday through Oct. 20 (except June 25 and July 2). Click here to learn much more, and be sure to follow them on Facebook!

The American Farmland Trust has named the Dole Market the best in Illinois as chosen by voters – and be sure to also visit the Woodstock Farmers Market, which came in a very close second.

Do you have oak trees? You may want to read this

McHenry County government is partnering with the Illinois Department of Agriculture to learn more about the population in McHenry County of the spongy moth (formerly known as the gypsy moth).

The caterpillars of the invasive species eat oak leaves, and the county and state are seeking to collect data about their potential location and spread.

If you have oak trees on your property, please help us by requesting and setting up a safe and free milk carton trap from the State. At summer’s end, you report the number of spongy moth caterpillars trapped, and you’re done. To learn more and request your moth trap, contact Nancy Johnson at

B4 Festival a new addition to summer festival season

Few things make us happier at McH Thrive than the creation of a new event for people to enjoy. This year, a new addition proudly joins McHenry County’s awesome summer festival schedule.

It’s called the B4 Summer Festival, and for the record, the four Bs are bacon, bourbon, beer and bands, which sure sounds like a great way to spend a day to us.

The event, which takes place from 3 to 10:30 p.m. Saturday, June 10 at Richardson Adventure Farm in Spring Grove, will feature nine food trucks, five different breweries, a private bourbon tasting, and three awesome bands. Better yet, proceeds from the bash will benefit five local nonprofit organizations.

Click here to learn more, and click here to buy tickets. Admission is $12 and $45 for VIP tickets if purchased in advance; the cost increases to $15 and $50 at the gate.

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What is Resume McHenry County?

Resume McHenry County is a collaborative initiative being implemented by McHenry County and the McHenry County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) in partnership with the McHenry County community, including cities and villages, businesses and residents. The goal is to ensure a successful reopening of our economy so that we can return to our lifestyles safely and responsibly.