From celebrating winter athletes to celebrating Mardi Gras, there is a weekend or event this February that is perfect for whatever you enjoy celebrating. Read below to see all Galena has to offer during the month of February.
Chestnut Mountain Resort is hosting the 2020 Special Olympics Illinois Winter Games from February 4 through February 6. There will be an Opening Ceremony and a parade in downtown Galena beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 4, 2020. The Ceremony will take place near the Post Office, with the Law Enforcement Torch Run officers handing the torch off to athletes to carry it and light the cauldron that holds the Flame of Hope. This lighting of the torch will kick off the Winter Games. At the end of the ceremony, will be a firework display that you won’t want to miss. Over 450 athletes are competing for Gold in the Games. Athletes will compete in Alpine Skiing, Cross-Country Skiing, or Snowshoeing; however, they cannot participate in more than one event. These events will be going on all day Wednesday and Thursday with some runs happening Tuesday before the Opening Ceremony. There are also opportunities to volunteer for this 3-day event.
Bald Eagles are part of what makes Americans feel patriotic. People who explore nature near the Upper Mississippi River often get to experience these majestic birds throughout the year. On February 8, you have the opportunity to see them in their natural habitat. The wintering eagles may be seen fishing, perching in trees, sitting on the ice or even flying and migrating overhead. The tour bus will visit five different historic bald eagle wintering communities, making the tour an excellent opportunity to see and even get some photographs of this majestic animal. The 4-hour tour departs from Stoney Creek Inn in Galena at 8 a.m. and includes enjoyable education about the past, present, and future of bald eagles as well as the habits and movements of them.
Admission is free to this ethereal winter carnival. From Friday, February 14th through Monday, February 17th, Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa will be hosting a Winter Carnival Weekend for the whole family. There will be a Nordic Center on the South Golf Course that will offer ice skating, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and downhill sledding. They are also offering complimentary shuttles to Chestnut Mountain Resort to continue your fun in the snow. There will be bonfires that you can warm up at, a Hot Air Balloon Glow that will make the white snow glisten at night. With Ice Carvings and Caricatures, S’mores and Turkey Bowling, there is sure to be enough fun for the whole family. The daily list of activities can be found on the Eagle Ridge Resort website. Make plans to enjoy winter and warm your heart at the Winter Carnival.
February 15 & 16 continue the celebration of love by going on a Java, Chocolate & Champagne Stroll hosted by the Galena Downtown Business Association. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the event and they can be purchased here. Each ticket includes a punch card that is worth 10 treats and a commemorative cup that you can use during the stroll. On either Saturday or Sunday, enjoy a few special treats while strolling along Galena’s magical Main Street. There will be specials and events sprinkled everywhere you look.
You don’t need to travel to New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras! Galena’s weekend Mardi Gras celebration begins on Friday, February 21st with a Pub Crawl on Main Street. Registration for the crawl starts at 2 p.m. with the first Pub at 6 p.m. Bring along your friends and get ready for fun, drinks, and beads as you travel along the pub crawl. On Saturday the 22nd, the Mardi Gras Throwing of Beads Ceremony starts at 5 p.m. that will take place rain, snow, or shine. Don’t miss your chance to snag some beads to truly get in the Mardi Gras spirit. The Mardi Gras Masquerade Ball at Galena Brewing Company begins at 8 p.m. There will be free live music by The Wundo Band, food, drink and shot specials as well as Glitter Beer. Masks will also be for sale if you don’t have your own.
The 12th Annual Big Nut Open is scheduled for February 29 and March 1. There are 3 competitions: Rail Jam, Big Air, and Slopestyle. Each event costs $10 per competitor and all competitors need to have a valid lift ticket and helmet. The Big Nut Open includes three different non-open age groups for the 2-day competition and one open class: 12 & under, 13-17, 18 & over. There are cash prizes for the winners of the open class and product prizes from sponsors for the non-open divisions.
Come out to celebrate 60 years of downhill fun at Chestnut Mountain Resort! On the first night of the Big Nut Open, there will also be a 60th Anniversary Party at Chestnut Mountain Resort. Live entertainment will be provided by Bowman, Pickney & Evans from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, February 29th. There will also be a Torch Light Parade and fireworks at 9:30 p.m.