Wine tastings, balloon races, and much more await you
The best way to think about Galena, Illinois, is to imagine it as a museum. While there are tons of permanent items – like the many historical buildings, local attractions, and natural wonders – there is also a never ending rotation of excellent exhibits.
No matter when you visit Galena, you’re sure to find something special going on. While we previously offered a list of great winter activities, with the weather soon warming up, we thought we would now focus on spring. If you will be coming to town over the next few months, here are some events you’ll want to experience.
St. Patrick’s Day celebration
Okay, so St. Paddy’s Day technically takes place March 17, three days before spring begins, but we just had to include it. This is because Galena goes all out when it comes to celebrating all things Irish. In addition to the annual downtown parade featuring bands, floats, and music, there are two races – the Shamrock Shimmy 5K and the Mini Shimmy for kids. It’s the perfect opportunity to grab a shillelagh (and maybe a pint) and have a fun time.
Wine Lovers Weekend
Whether you consider yourself a wine expert or just enjoy a nice glass with dinner, you’ll appreciate Galena’s 11th annual Wine Lovers Weekend on March 23-24. Located in Turner Hall downtown, this is one of the biggest indoor wine tastings in all of Illinois. Over 250 different wines and spirits will be showcased, giving you the chance to sample some outstanding vintages.
General Grant’s Home Front
It’s difficult to talk about Galena and not mention Ulysses S. Grant, the city’s most famous resident. And while you can visit the home he and his family lived in anytime, every year there’s a special event in his honor. General Grant’s Home Front will take you back to the 1860s. It’s a reenactment of a Civil War encampment, along with a battle. This event takes place April 28-29.
Galena Sky Trail Race
If you want to experience the majesty of Galena at a brisk trot, then you won’t want to miss the Sky Trail Race on May 19. In either a four- or eight-hour timed loop course, runners will traverse the same hills skiers take on in the winter. The views you’ll get of the Mississippi River alone are worth the price of admission. This year’s theme is Nordic Viking warriors, and racers are encouraged to dress up, with the winner of Best Costume receiving a trophy.
Great Galena Balloon Race
You’ll want to start doing your neck exercises now, because this amazing three-day event will have you constantly looking skyward. More than 20 hot air balloons will be on hand, and each day features a different race. There is also a classic car show, beer and wine tastings, inflatable fun for the kids, and much more. Plus, proceeds help support the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. The Great Galena Balloon Race takes place June 15-17.
If you’ll be in Galena for any of these events or just to explore this fascinating little town, we can get you set up in a beautiful cabin. Vacation Galena has two luxury cabins with enough room for up to 12 people. If you know the dates for your trip, you can see what’s available and make your reservation now. And if you have any questions or need additional information, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.