7 Reasons Why I Love DeKalb, Illinois
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7 Reasons Why I Love DeKalb, Illinois

Because it's too good for just one article.

7 Reasons Why I Love DeKalb, Illinois
henry perks

I was born in Illinois, and then brought from the billions of cornfields to the red dirt and the plethora of Chic-Fil-A’s of Georgia. Ha! I love it. Lots of my family still live in DeKalb, though so I visit a lot. I really love Illinois, and lots of people wonder why I love a state covered in corn and snow year-round (which is a myth by the way). There are tons of reasons why this city is so lovely and wonderful in my eyes. And I hope you can see why, too. Over the several years of visiting the Midwest, I’ve picked up on some differences and key attributes that make DeKalb, Illinois, DeKalb, Illinois.

Open a can of pop, and enjoy!

1. Parks

Why are ‘parks’ the first thing that stands out to me about DeKalb? Maybe because it shows such a big sense of community. Maybe because there are over 35 parks in DeKalb, Illinois, 34 being parks with playgrounds. If you try to go to one for every day of the month, you’ll still have more to go to! Most of them were donated by notable people who wanted to give back to the community. Something that really stands out about DeKalb is the focus on and pride of community. There’s always something fun to do here and always tons of people who go. I’ve never been somewhere with so many parks, and when I go back down to Georgia, the plethora of parks is something I really do miss. It’s just so unique!

2. Flying Corn

DeKalb was once known for having the best seed corn in the country, and they still produce an extraordinary amount of corn. During the year, highschool students can volunteer to help with pollinating the corn. AND there’s a giant Corn Fest every fall where you get free corn on the cob and floss to go along with it! There are tons of games and rides and corn-themed everything to celebrate the history and impact it’s had on the city. DeKalb is also the place the emblem of the Flying Corn was first established.

3. Barbed wire was invented here

And there’s a museum about it! The high school's mascot is the DeKalb Barb Crow and there is a lot of barbed wire emblems everywhere. Joseph Glidden is to thank for this invention Annie Glidden, the niece of Joseph, is a big deal here, too. She was involved in the community and won an award for growing the most corn. Don’t be surprised if you see every other building dedicated to one of the Glidden.

4. Kish

Everything is named after the Kishwaukee River, and it’s pretty cool. The hospital, every other street, and the community college are all named after the Kish. If someone says something about the “Kish”, though, they normally mean the meandering river through the town. It’s one of the few rivers in the United States that flow south to north!!. *(pro-tip: use the Kishwaukee river as a landmark while giving directions, you’ll be considered a local in no time!)*

5. The Library is a Point of Pride

DeKalb has been using Haish Memorial Library since 1930. It’s huge, and they added to it a few years ago. Since it was built between 1928 and 1930, it’s in the style of Art Deco and is absolutely beautiful. There is a reading Humpty Dumpty sculpture right outside on the steps that kids get pictures with.

6. Huskies

Huskies are everywhere (statues of them anyways!) They are the mascot of NIU. They were painted and put up after the shooting at NIU and the ‘Forward, Together Forward’ movement that happened in response to the tragedy. The community came together in lots of ways and the Huskies are a way that shows this sense of solidarity and community.

7. Music

There is a lot of focus on live music in DeKalb. Not every city has a long-standing band, but DeKalb does! Their municipal band has been performing for over 160 years, making it longest playing band in Illinois! There is also a band shell in the park, and every week in the summer the city band plays there. There’s also a band called The Shenanigans and there’s a ballroom dance at NIU every July, too! It's so fun, and it's in its 13th year!

DeKalb has so much to offer, which is why this is only the first half of my articles dedicated to this city. Hope you're as excited to read it as I am to write it!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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