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Armstrong: DeKalb County welcomes Bike MS: Tour de Farms

Published: Monday, June 17, 2013 11:54 p.m. CST • Updated: Tuesday, June 18, 2013 12:05 a.m. CST

The DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau is pleased to welcome the annual MS Bike: Tour de Farms event back to DeKalb County.

More than 2,000 bike riders will pedal through DeKalb County this weekend to raise money for the MS Society. The funds support research and provide programs to people with multiple sclerosis and their families.

This annual event generates approximately $320,000 in revenue for DeKalb County businesses.

The DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau has been working with the MS event coordinators since July of last year to help ensure another successful event. We blocked more than 400 hotel rooms, booked private parties at restaurants, provided visitor guides, coupon books and maps to assist with the event.

The start and finish of the race is at the Northern Illinois University Convocation Center. Our thanks to the staff at the Convo for their expert coordination for the event, the city of DeKalb, area hotels, participants, and the volunteers that help along the bike routes and at the main tent at the Convo. It does take a lot of cooperation to bring such revenue-producing events to DeKalb County.

The event kickoff is Friday from 6 to 8 p.m. During that time riders and teams check in and have a certified safety check conducted on their bicycles. Many of the teams decorate their tent at the tent village and meet some of the top fundraisers and the MS staff. Riders have six route options. All riders start at 7 a.m. on both Saturday and Sunday. Registration opens at 5 a.m.

For more details on how to sign up to bike and/or volunteer, visit www.nationalmssociety.org.

IHSA Destination DeKalb countdown

We are 163 days out from hosting our first IHSA state football championships in DeKalb County. The IHSA Destination DeKalb Host Committee kicked off its fundraising campaign last month. The football championship is expected to generate approximately $800,000 based on estimates that have been published in Champaign County newspapers.

The IHSA state football championships will be held at Huskie Stadium every other year beginning with 2013 through 2021. In even-numbered years the championships will be hosted by the Champaign County CVB and played at Memorial Stadium.

There are multiple ways to get involved. Show your community spirit and volunteer to help welcome the 32,000 visitors expected from Nov. 29 to 30. We are recruiting at least 200 volunteers to help with ticket taking, ushering and parking. We know that our community members are eager to show visitors that DeKalb County is a great place to live and play. Our local volunteers will be critical to making the event successful. So, help us get the word out. Please talk to your friends and mark your calendars. For more information on how to volunteer or to become a sponsor, visit www.ihsadestinationdekalb.com.

New Shopping and Dining video

Check out our new Shopping & Dining video that was just added to our YouTube channel. You can find it at www.dekalbcountycvb.com.

We’re positive that this new marketing tool will enable us to entice more visitors to discover the unique shops and dining scene in DeKalb County. All retail shops and restaurants are encouraged to add our link to their retail sites and social media pages. The more we share, the more visitors we attract!

Remember to “Like Us” on Facebook and check our updated Calendar of Events at www.dekalbcountycvb.com. Until next time, safe travels everyone.

• Debbie Armstrong is executive director of the DeKalb County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

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