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Sweet Home Chicago: The History of America's Candy Capital

From Fannie May and Brach's Candies to Tootsie Rolls, Frango Mints, Lemonheads, and more—Chicago has a tasty history of producing candy loved the world over. Learn about Chicago's candy-making history and why the city has been such a sweet spot for creating confections. Experience interactive displays with nostalgic photos and artifacts, watch a video narrated by Bill Kurtis, and take on the Twisted Candy Challenge to test candy-wrapping skills. View vintage candy commercials, and don't miss the classic "I Love Lucy" episode when Lucy and Ethel go to work at a candy factory.

Lance Tawzer, curator of exhibits at the Elmhurst Historical Museum, will lead the tour of this original exhibit. An exhibit designer by trade, Lance has gained a regional reputation for developing fun, innovative, and engaging exhibits at the Elmhurst Historical Museum that tell compelling stories to broad audiences. Some of his recent creative summer exhibitions include The Drawn-Out History of Comic Books, The Magical History Tour, and last year’s Toys in the ‘Hood, which all received rave reviews from visitors and the media.

Exhibit writer and collaborator Leslie Goddard is the newly-named executive director of the Graue Mill and Museum in Oak Brook, IL. She earned her Ph.D. from Northwestern University in an interdisciplinary field of study that covered U.S. history, women’s studies, and theater. An award-winning actor and scholar, Goddard has extensive experience in presenting public programs including first-person historical characters and lectures at Chicago area museums and historical societies, civic organizations, schools, and retirement homes.

People may arrive from Chicago using public transportation. Metra’s Union Pacific West Line from Ogilvie Transportation Center (500 W. Madison St. at Canal St.) to Elmhurst Station (128 W. 1st St. at York Rd. in Elmhurst) leaves Chicago at 8:40am and arrives in Elmhurst at 9:12am. Later that day, it leaves Elmhurst at 1:13pm and arrives in Chicago at 1:50pm. A later train leaves Elmhurst at 3:13pm and arrives in Chicago at 3:50pm.

Lunch options include Café Amano, 105 S. York Rd., 630-279-9333, (located in the same block as the museum and one block from train), which serves baguettes, salads, wood-fired pizza, or a full-course luncheon. For those driving to Elmhurst, you may want to visit Hamburger Heaven, 281 N. York St., 630-832-3535, for hamburgers and made-on-the-premises root beer with outdoor seating.

When you reserve spots for this event, please let us know if you can offer a ride or will need to be picked up at the Metra station in Elmhurst. Ride offers and needs will be matched.

This program is hosted by the Chicago Foodways Roundtable. To reserve you spots, please email or call 847-432-8255, then leave your name, telephone number, and how many people in your party.

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