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McHenry County celebrates it Business Champions at the MCEDC Annual Dinner

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.


MCEDC honors its 2023 Business Champions at annual dinner

Congratulations to this year’s winners of the McHenry County Economic Development Corp.’s Business Champion Awards!

The winners were honored Novovember 8 at the MCEDC‘s annual dinner at the Crystal Lake Holiday Inn in the presence of 400 attendees.

This year’s winners in the three categories were Rock Solid Builders, of McHenry (fewer than 25 employees), Heartland, of McHenry (25 to 100 employees), and General Kinematics, of Crystal Lake (more than 100 employees).

Thank you to the MCEDC for once again putting on a world-class event. This year’s winners join a distinguished list of local business leaders and job creators; you can see previous years’ winners here.


Thank you for everything, Jim McConoughey!

The annual Business Champion Awards last Wednesday continued a proud tradition, but marked the end of an era with the departure of MCEDC President Jim McConoughey.

Jim, who has helmed the Economic Development Corp. for almost six years, announced at the ceremony that he was stepping down – he is moving to Ohio to become the CEO of an Ohio resort community.

Besides being a strong voice and fierce advocate for McHenry County’s business and manufacturing communities, Jim helped businesses navigate the many challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. He also was instrumental in helping create the McH Thrive newsletter, which was originally founded to help our business community access the government assistance available to help them survive the shutdowns and restrictions.

Jim’s last day was Tuesday, and we wish him the best of luck in his new adventure!


Congratulations to INSIDER favorites winners!

The people have spoken, and have chosen their favorite local eateries to be featured in Naturally McHenry County’s annual Insider Guide!

The winning restaurants will appear in the new feature, Insider Favorites, that will appear for the first time in Naturally McHenry County’s 2024 guide to year-round fun.

Congratulations to this year’s winners: Chop Suey Hut (Asian cuisine), Moontime Smokin’ Que (barbecue), Elle’s Deli and Bagels (breakfast and brunch), The Tracks (burgers), Montarra Grill (best date night spot), Julie Ann’s Frozen Custard (dessert), Mixteca Restaurant and Tequila Bar (Mexican cuisine), Port Edward (outdoor dining), Uncle Jerry’s Pizza Company (pizza), and Conscious Cup Coffee Roasters (coffee and tea).

You can learn more about them by clicking here. And to check out the annual Insider Guide, which is 53 pages of full-color awesome, click here for the current 2023 edition.


Revel in the glory of the Turkey Testicle Festival

Thanksgiving means travel and gathering with family and friends. And in McHenry County, Thanksgiving also means the return of the annual Turkey Testicle Festival.

The legendary event, now in its 41st year, returns to the Parkside Pub in Huntley from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. the day before Thanksgiving.

Iron-stomached fans from all over the state descend on the Huntley restaurant to enjoy great drinks, listen to great live music, and of course, eat deep-fried turkey testicles.

Click here for merchandise, more information and VIP tickets (which are going fast!).


Inaugural McHenry Riverwalk Holiday Market starts this weekend

McHenry County’s newest holiday-season tradition officially kicks off this weekend at the McHenry Riverwalk Shoppes!

The inaugural Holiday Market begins this Saturday, and will return to the Riverwalk every Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Dec. 16.

The outdoor market, featuring all sorts of holiday goods (as well as different food trucks and entertainment each week), will complement the 10 small retail businesses that are thriving at the Riverwalk’s new business incubator.

We at McH Thrive love writing about new events taking root, and we wish the McHenry Area Chamber of Commerce the best of luck! You can learn more about the event and the Riverwalk Shoppes on its dedicated Facebook page.


Light Up McHenry County is back (with a twist)

Once again, those of us who lament the return of long and cold nights can take solace in the return of Light Up McHenry County!

But this year’s event by our friends at Naturally McHenry County is new in that there’s no competition – just a celebration of turning our homes and businesses into illuminated winter wonderlands.

If you love to bedazzle your home or business every holiday season, all you have to do is click here to make sure you’re included on Naturally McHenry County’s map so everyone can admire your hard work.

Let’s all work together to spread the holiday magic!


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What is McH Thrive?

McH Thrive 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.