city of DeKalb and its surrounding DeKalb County communities provide a familiar
place to live and study for most NIU students. Reflections of cities, suburbs
and farm country all are here.
of DeKalb County remains rural, still home to miles of cornfields along
two-lane roads with occasional stop signs.
DeKalb (population 44,030), Sycamore (population 17,519) and the bustling
highway that connects them (Route 23) are the sites of exciting commercial and
residential growth reminiscent of the suburbs. The boom of new retailers and
restaurants offers shopping and dining for almost any taste, and the heart of
Route 23 is home to the county’s modern health care corridor.
the downtown areas of DeKalb and Sycamore offer homegrown shops and eateries
that cater to a more eclectic crowd. Each town also hosts its own festival
during the fall semester: DeKalb Corn Fest attracts more than 50,000 visitors
during the last weekend in August, and the Sycamore Pumpkin Festival provides
family-oriented Halloween fun in late October.
school pigskin lovers also have DeKalb on their minds: NIU will host the Illinois
High School Association state football finals in odd-numbered years beginning
in 2013 and running through 2021.