Paid Post: When you walk around downtown Evanston, do you notice the seasonal planters, clean streets, vibrant dining scene, local and national retailers, public art and more?

Do you hear about events or promotions in downtown Evanston through Facebook or Instagram?

Or have you attended a Thursday Night Live concert, Holiday Tree Lighting, fitness class or story time at Fountain Square plaza? 

Downtown Evanston is the organization that helps to make all this happen. If you’re not familiar with Downtown Evanston, it is a nonprofit 501c(6) corporation that works with commercial and residential property owners, businesses, nonprofits and the City of Evanston to enhance and promote the downtown district.

Downtown Evanston works to keep the district clean, green and vibrant so that YOU continue to come downtown to dine, shop, be entertained, find services, freshen up and more!

Downtown Evanston is also referred to as the service provider for Special Service Area #4 (SSA#4) which is funded by an additional levy applied to each commercial property within the legal boundary of SSA#4. Residents are excluded from this tax. (Click here to view the map of downtown Evanston; the yellow line indicates the current SSA#4 boundary.)

What exactly does Downtown Evanston do?

The services funded by SSA#4 include garbage removal from the bins six days a week; seasonal landscaping and decoration (think planters and holiday décor); destination marketing to attract media attention, tourism, and economic development (advertising campaigns, social media); special events and capacity-building events for businesses.

Some of these special events include the recent Sip & Stroll (June 20), Thursday Night Live concert series taking place now through Aug. 22, Sidewalk Sale & Chalk Art Contest (July 26-28), Evanston Oktoberfest (Sept. 29) and the Holiday Tree Lighting, among others.    

Downtown Evanston Renewal

As required by the State of Illinois legislation, every SSA must go through a reconstitution process when the district expires — in this case Dec. 31, 2019 — renew the City ordinance and make any changes to the SSA.

We hope to continue to provide and build on these services for the next 12 years by expanding the boundary of SSA#4. Please sign this petition to show your support for Downtown Evanston. Note we are not asking for donations — just a signature showing your support of the enhanced services provided.  

You can learn more about Downtown Evanston by watching the video below and attending a pubic meeting on July 16, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Lorraine H. Morton Civic Center, 2100 Ridge Ave., or on July 17, 6 to 8 p.m. at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. in the Community Meeting Room. Please RSVP to info@downtownevanston.org

Stay up to date on all the great events taking place in downtown Evanston by signing up for our newsletter and following us on Facebook and Instagram

Join the Conversation


  1. Downtown Evanston Renewal Fail

    So we’ve paid for a nice downtown fountain that shoots water several feet in the air. Kids love playing in it – except today, one of the hottest of the year, the City of Evanston decides to shut off the water mid-afternoon. I’m reading here, and watching disappointed children and their parents asking why the fountain’s not on. I call City Hall and I’m told the water is on a timer. Suggestion: Maybe adjust the timer on high-temperature days.

    1. who turned the fountain off?

      While I agree it’s kind of ridiculous for the City to turn off the water on their brand spanking new fountains for some reason or other that problem has nothing to do whatsoever with the Downtown Evanston organization.

      The downtown Evansoton organization has for decades been majority funded, willingly, by the commercial property owners located in downtown.  They may plant the flowers, pick up all the trash that people generate, etc. but they have nothing to do with the operation of the fountain, it’s construction, maintenance, etc.  That is strictly the City, so you will likely see recurrent issues with that fountain but it has nothing to do with the downtown organization.   

      The real FAIL is making comments about something while not knowing what is what. 

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