The Big Board: how a small town is becoming a giant board game

By Luis Verastigue, Guest WC Reporter

MACOMB (WC) – The world’s largest Monopoly board is coming to Macomb’s Downtown Square, in honor and celebration of the Monopoly game’s original creator Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie.

Jack HedBlade, Executive Director of the Macomb Area Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB), talks about a new project in Macomb with the hopes of bringing people together from in and outside of the community. He says the goal is to celebrate and honor the 158th anniversary of the creator of the Monopoly board game Elizabeth “Lizzie” Magie.

A $40,000 Funding for the project was received from the Illinois Tourism Attraction and Festivals Grant Program, and the CVB will match the grant money. The CVB will also be using the Macomb Area Community Foundation for donations.

Funds being received have already helped stages of the project to begin. Hedblade said, “The preliminary processor has already started.” Purchases of materials have already been bought and plans to have an unveiling have already been made.

CVB sets May 9th, 2024 for the unveiling. This date will celebrate Elizabeth “Lizzie” Maggie’s birth date.

Honoring and celebrating are just a small driving force to the bigger picture of the project. A big motivation for this project will be to potentially bring in more Western Illinois University (WIU) students, community members, and businesses for the downtown area of Macomb.

Hedblade encourages all community members, WIU students, and organizations to participate in the project.

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