This is my first column as the executive director of the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce. Although I am new to the position, some of you may already know me as a familiar face in town. I have been working with the Chamber since 2014 and have been a volunteer for community events for many years before that.
I am excited to be able to continue supporting Genoa in my new role. This fall/winter season is an exciting time for us at the Chamber. We have a lot of events coming up, and we would love to see you at them.
The Chamber is planning the annual State of the City presentation Nov. 21 at the Genoa Veterans Home, 311 S. Washington St. in Genoa. The Chamber has hosted a meeting each November for the past few years focusing on what has been accomplished and what is on the horizon for economically flourishing Genoa. The State of the City luncheon reception costs $20 and is open to the public. Lunch will be catered by Premiere Catering. You can register and pay online at http://genoaareachamber.com/ or call the Chamber at 815-784-2212.
City administrators will give a short preview of some of the topics that are happening within the city, as well as what we will be seeing in the future. I’m sure the address will discuss IDOT’s new and improved road surfacing currently taking place on Route 72.
Perhaps another big topic of conversation will be the downtown facade program the city unveiled recently.
Mayor Mark Vicary has said during the past few years that he and the City Council have been dedicated to economic expansion, supporting programs and taking actions to assist businesses. The city continues to offer a low-interest loan program for startup projects or expansion projects. Coming to Genoa later this month is the new Gillerson’s Gastro Diner at 333 W. Main St. Staff training is underway and owners hope to be open by Nov. 13.
Community members are hosting
a Thanksgiving dinner from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 28, at the VFW, 311 S. Washington St. We are coming together to give thanks over a delicious meal of turkey, sides and desserts. This event is free, with no agenda – just a chance to gather together and eat. For information or to sign up to volunteer, call Alyssa at 815-764-9408.
Also, on the horizon, is our annual Celebrate the Season and Jingle Bell parade. It is a wonderful evening of hometown traditions and community spirit. You’re not going to want to miss Santa Claus coming to Genoa and the lighting of our community tree. Enjoy free activities up and down Main Street throughout the evening, including wagon rides, letters to Santa, face painting, warming fires and much more. Head over to Heartland Bank for our holiday raffle and the Genoa Pharmacy to view the gingerbread competition.
Don’t forget to stop by and see Santa! Santa’s house is located next to the city Christmas tree and is sponsored by First Midwest Bank. Santa will be at his house ready for visitors from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, Dec. 7, 14 and 21, and Sunday, Dec. 22. Bring your camera for pictures. There is no cost to see Santa, and four-footed friends are welcome, too.
Make lasting memories and share the excitement as you enjoy a delicious breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at the second annual Genoa Guest House Holiday Breakfast with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 7. For information, visit https://genoaguesthouse.com/events.
It is an exciting time to be a member of the Genoa community and the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce. If you are looking to open a business, we hope that you will consider doing so in Genoa.
To join the Chamber or to find out about our member benefits, visit www.genoaareachamber.com. We look forward to hearing from you soon. Explore Genoa!
• Krissy Johnson is executive director of the Genoa Area Chamber of Commerce.