Downtown Evanston - Business Resources
Downtown Evanston provides marketing, events, landscaping, holiday decor and business retention/attraction services to the downtown business district. Below is a list of resources to help market and promote downtown businesses. 

Please reach out to Laura Brown at with any questions.

Special Events

Downtown Evanston hosts several events throughout the year to bring people together in our beautiful downtown. Most of these events take place at Fountain Square, which is a City of Evanston park. Downtown Evanston produces and organizes events that the Board of Directors decides are beneficial to our goal of creating a fun and exciting place for residents and visitors. Downtown Evanston are not silent partners or event planners for any other organization.

If a business, organization or other entity is interested in hosting an event at Fountain Square or one that would require street closures, please reach out to the City of Evanston Parks & Recreation to apply for a special event permit. Click here to learn more about the process.

Contact Laura Brown at or 847-866-6319 if you have any questions.


Flower Power | April 22-May 8
Floral themed window decorating contest, spring shopping and dining promotions, Sip 'N Stroll on May 7, and floral installation at Fountain Square. View details.

Thursday Night Markets | June to September
Outdoor market at Fountain Square for retail shops, artists, makers on June 1, July 6, August 3 and September 7 from 4-8pm. There will also be music, craft beer and other food vendors. 

Sidewalk Sale & Chalk Art Contest | July 21-23
Businesses move sale items to the sidewalk for the weekend! All businesses invited to participate in the Chalk Art contest where they work with an artist or family to decorate the sidewalk in front of their business.   

Evanston en Blanc | September 16
Downtown Evanston and Black Women of Evanston are hosting the first-ever Evanston en Blanc, a BYO dinner and decor event at Fountain Square.

Halloween Trick-or-Treat Stroll | October 28
Businesses offer candy or another treat to trick-or-treaters.

Small Business Saturday | Saturday, November 25
Shopping and dining deals offered throughout downtown Evanston. Downtown Evanston organizes a Shopping Passport Program with giveaways for shoppers that spend a certain amount.

Warm Bevvy Walk | Thursday, December 14
Enjoy warm beverages as you stroll throughout downtown stopping at local businesses to shop for holiday gifts!

Holiday Tree Lighting | Saturday, December 2
Annual lighting of the holiday tree at Fountain Square with Mayor Biss, Santa and Mrs. Claus and special performers.  

Street Pole Banner Program

Downtown Evanston operates a Street Pole Banner Program to help create a sense of place for the downtown Evanston business district. The banners add color, excitement and character to the streetscape while also calling attention to the healthy mix of businesses and services as well as the overall district.

Downtown Evanston will launch a new banner program in early 2024. Staff will reach out to businesses with more information closer to the date.

In addition, if you are interested in placing banners for a special event in downtown, please contact Laura Brown at


Downtown Evanston sends a biweekly newsletter to approximately 8,000 subscribers, typically the first and third Thursday of the month. The newsletter features information about Downtown Evanston special events, business events and community events.

If you would like your event to be featured in the newsletter, please email a description with a weblink and photo or graphic (square format, jpg) to You can also tag @downtownevanston on Facebook and Instagram. 

In addition to the newsletter we send out special event newsletters throughout the year for larger events including Thursday Night Markets, Sidewalk Sale & Chalk Art Contest, Small Business Saturday, Holiday Tree Lighting and more. 

Social Media

Downtown Evanston manages Facebook and Instagram accounts for the business district. Share your business photos with us tagging @downtownevanston and using the hashtags listed below. In addition, please feel free to add @downtownevanston as a collaborator on Instagram posts.

All posts: #downtownevanston #evanston #chicagonorthshore #evanstonillinois #visitevanston

Restaurants: #evanstoneats #eattheburbs #dineoutevanston

Shop: #shopevanston #shoplocal #smallbusinesslove #evanstonshops #golocal

Health/Fitness: #gethealthy #getfit 

Co-op Advertising

Snow Removal

In the event of snow, please remember that it is the responsibility of businesses, residents and landlords to remove snow and ice from sidewalks after a snow event. Below is a summary of the City of Evanston's ordinance.

• Sidewalks should be completely cleared to allow everyone, including people with disabilities, children walking to school and the elderly, to travel freely using the sidewalks instead of the street.

• Businesses are responsible for clearing sidewalks adjacent to their property; snow should be removed a minimum of 36” away from the building to avoid citation.

• Snow should be removed as to not block any public right of way (alleys, sidewalks, fire hydrants and streets).

Please note that Downtown Evanston does not provide snow removal service. The contract with our landscape vendor includes garbage removal 6 days a week, seasonal flower plantings, ground level plants and shrub maintenance and grass mowing, and an annual sidewalk power washing. 

If you need assistance finding a company to clear snow for you, please give us a call at 847-866-6319 or email Thank you!

Evanston Facts
  • Borders Chicago on North
  • Population 74,486
  • Total retail expenditure $1,123,030,872 
  • Home to Northwestern University, purchasing more than $13.5 Million of goods and services 
  • Over 15,000 downtown employees