August, for many Americans, is the last bit of summer before school starts again, either for themselves or for their kids. Before classes commence though, it’s important to get out and enjoy the remaining summer season. With all the fairs and festivals in Galena, families, friends and couples have access to experiences that will give you everything you want and more before the summer’s over.
FOR THE WEEKEND ADVENTURERS
Come one, come all. Being outdoors and adventuring through and around nature makes weekends so much more exhilarating. Whether that’s going to a festival and listening to music with your best friends or taking your family to a fair with throngs of other people enjoying life the same way you are, Galena is the place you’ll want to be near in August.
August 1st – 4th | 158th Annual Jo Daviess County Fair
This four-day fair is the perfect place to come enjoy if you look for the thrill and bustle of Midwestern fairs. The Jo Daviess County Fair is the oldest fair in Illinois and will be hosting its 158th fair this August. The Fair will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday, August 1 at the Jo Daviess County Fairgrounds in Warren, Illinois with the Queen Pageant taking place that night at 6:30 p.m. The gates will open at 9 a.m. on Friday, while the beer tent opens at 11 a.m. There will be Kids Day activities starting at noon followed by a bicycle giveaway at 5 p.m. and the Badger State tractor pull at 7 p.m. On Saturday, you can start your day early with the gates opening at 7 a.m. and dairy, beef, and sheep shows beginning at 9 a.m. The mud volleyball tournament will begin at 10 a.m. followed by a Talent Show at 1 p.m. Later Saturday evening, the T & C Rodeo will take place at 7 p.m. followed by fireworks. Sunday gates open at 9 a.m. again, with the pits opening at 8 a.m. The lawn mower races start at 11 a.m. followed by the Queen’s Auction at 2 p.m. The pits will play host to the Demolition Derby at 3 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets prices vary daily; however, they offer a season pass that is $15 for kids between 7 – 17 and $25 for adults.
August 10th – 11th | Willow Folk Festival
If you’re more into a music festival in the middle of a field, August 10 and 11 is the perfect weekend for you to visit Stockton, IL. Willow Folk Festival has been taking place in a cow pasture in Stockton for the past 51 years to fundraise for the Willow United Methodist Church. The festival includes all day live music on Saturday until 10 p.m. and a church service and live music on Sunday until 5 p.m. Camping in the cow pasture is offered and encouraged. It costs $25 at the gate and you are free to park in one of the two camping sections. The pasture opens on Friday at noon for campers to begin setting up. Both mornings, there will be breakfast served from 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. for the festivalgoers, as well as a food, beverage, and bake table inside of the church for guests to enjoy. This is the perfect weekend to spend some time off the grid while enjoying two full days of live music.
FOR THE FOODIE FANATICS
Food lovers unite! With three different options for food festivals in and around Galena, August is the perfect month to head that way and experience the magic that your taste buds won’t forget.
August 10th – 11th | Midwest Garlic Fest
For a “garlicky” good time, head to Terrapin Park in Elizabeth, IL to experience the Midwest Garlic Fest on August 10 and 11. Organized by the Galena Garlic Company, this fest is all about the celebration of garlic, farms, music, family, and community. In its 5th year, the Midwest Garlic Fest continues to grow with heaps of naturally grown garlic. This experience will include garlic related food items and local garlic themed dishes, as well as beer and wine. There will be children’s activities, live music, antique mall shopping, and garlic vendors. The fest begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.
August 10th | Galena Brew Fest
Also, on August 10th is the Galena Brew Fest hosted at Chestnut Mountain Resort. You must be 21 years old or older to attend this event. There will be a plethora of local and regional beer, wine, and spirits, as well as an onsite restaurant and lodging. A regular ticket is $25 and include a wristband, glass, and 24 sampling tickets and the Designated Driver ticket is $5. All proceeds help benefit Galena ARC, which is non-profit that has the goal of creating a diverse and healthy environment where people of all ages and abilities can come and learn and play and have fun. This event will have activities on the mountain, as well as live music.
August 10th | East Dubuque Wing Fest
Who doesn’t love wings and live music? No one! So, on August 10 from noon until midnight, head over to downtown East Dubuque and experience both and more. From 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. there will be a public wing tasting for only $5. Free inflatables for the kids to enjoy, food vendors, and live music are available all day long. The free nighttime concert will feature Little Texas, with daytime performances by Brown Bottle Bandits, Sam Wooden, and Stoney Boys.
FOR THE SMALL-TOWN FAMILY EXPERIENCE
Midwestern small towns have an aura that many never get the chance to experience. Lucky for you, these two August events close to Galena will allow you to experience the small-town aesthetic in all its glory.
August 10th – 11th | Market House Square Arts Fest
On August 10 and 11, Galena’s Market House Square will be the site of their annual Arts Fest. It’s free to the public which is the perfect excuse to bring your family down and browse through the locally created art. There will be paintings, pottery, woodwork, baskets, jewelry, and so much more to look at and appreciate. Enjoy the ambiance provided by local musicians playing for the attendees, as well as food and drinks for sale.
August 17th | Fall into Stockton
Bring your family to Stockton, IL for an all-day family affair on August 17 from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. Fall into Stockton has the perfect small-town experience for you with a car show starting at 10 a.m., live music all day, and local businesses and vendors. There will be a bags tournament (cornhole for some Midwesterners) throughout the day and numerous activities for the kids. There will also be a beer and wine tent that adults can swing by to get something a little harder than water to drink. The vendors close shop at 4 p.m. though so if you’re thinking about eating there, make sure you grab it early.