June is the first full month of summer and that means one thing – it is time to get outside! With events from history to hot air balloons, and all the wine tasting in between, Galena is the perfect place to spend your time outdoors.
All history buffs know that seeing historic sites of battle is best done in the summer. The nice weather and summer breeze make a great backdrop to the historical knowledge waiting for you in Galena. With Jo Daviess County being the host of two separate historical events during the month of June, it just makes sense to get over there and see for yourself!
On June 8th and 9th, Jo Daviess County Historical Society is hosting guided walking tours through Old City Cemetery to honor the lives and contributions of past Galenians. With walks starting every 20 minutes, you can come any time between 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. The 75-minute walk costs $15 and includes recreations by local performers surrounding people’s lives and key stories. The guide will take you up to a headstone where the performers will begin their set, in order to teach you about the amazing people who have made Galena what it is today.
If you want to experience the presentations but can’t make it to the Cemetery walk, the Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society plans to offer an indoor presentation on June 14. It will be in the Grace Episcopal Church in Galena at 7:30 p.m.
On June 23, head out to Apple River Fort State Historic Site in Elizabeth, IL from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. to celebrate the 187th Anniversary. There will be interpreters there reminiscing the history of the Fort as well as the battle and war that took place. After the talk, they will cook a meal from that period to enjoy after they demonstrate some musket firings at the site. Admission is free; however, donations are welcome.
If you find yourself in Galena during the week in June, make sure you stop by The Summit Bar at Chestnut Mountain Resort for Trivia Tuesday. Every Tuesday night from 7:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. you can test your knowledge of trivial facts surrounding sports, geography, literature, pop-culture, and fashion. The night consists of 6 rounds and 4 toss-up questions as well as a half-time question, music challenge, and a final question. The 1st place winner gets a $30 gift card, the 2nd place prize is a $20 gift card and there’s a $10 gift card for the 3rd place winner. There are food and drink specials for the event including $3 drafts and taco specials.
Summer is the perfect time to head outside to enjoy a nice, refreshing glass of wine. If that sounds like your perfect afternoon (or day), Galena has the perfect events for you this month.
Kick off your weekend with a flight night at Galena Cellars. On June 21 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., four local wineries will be there to offer you an experience of tasting the differences between each of the local wineries. There will be red, white, rose, and sweet wine flight consisting of a wine from each cellar, with each flight costing $15. So, head to Galena Cellars to enjoy some live music, light snacks, and as many wine flights as your heart can handle.
After enjoying a night of wine flights, head to Depot Park on June 22nd at noon to enjoy tasting wine under the sun. There will be live music by the Lizzie Neal Band, Jordan Danielson and Jeff Spradley, as well as food vendors and local artists. All the wine that you’ll taste is from family-owned Northern Illinois wineries and you have the chance to buy and drink a bottle right then. Tickets cost $20 for an adult and $5 for a child and includes 1 festival wine glass and 5 tasting tickets for either a 1 ounce pour or some food. There will be soda and water from the food vendors so bring the kiddos along.
Also on Saturday, June 22, Massbach Ridge Winery is hosting their very own 5K in Elizabeth, IL – 15 miles from Galena. The trail will display the scenic views of Jo Daviess County, including Galena, and the proceeds will be donated to the Safe Haven Animal Shelter. There are two participation options: the first is the 5K with a t shirt, souvenir wine glass, and a glass of wine for $35 ($40 the day of the race) and the second option is a 0K spectator package that includes a souvenir wine glass and a glass of wine for $10 ($20 the day of the race). After the race, the local Massbach Ridge Winery will be waiting because every good run has wine waiting for you at the finish line.
FIELDS FOR THE FAMILY
If you’re looking for the perfect place to take your family for the weekend, look no farther than Galena’s Balloon Race. With an action-packed three days full of fun and unique experiences, your family will have a blast AND your kids will be tired by the end of the night.
The annual Great Galena Balloon Race is happening June 21st –23rd at the North Course Driving Range at Eagle Ridge. It costs $5 a person each day and the proceeds go to Camp Hertko Hollow for kids with diabetes as well as to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. Parking is free and there is a shuttle that will pick you up from the lot and take you to the field for free. The weekend-long event features a hot air balloon race at least once a day, live music, a classic car show, an art fair and more. With so much to do and such a packed schedule, your family will surely have an amazing weekend with unique experiences. The event is cash only and no carry-ins are allowed. The schedule is below:
Friday: 5:00 p.m. – Gates open
5:30 p.m. – Live music by The Wundo Band
6:00 p.m. – Hot Air Balloon Race
8:30 p.m. – Nightglow
Saturday: 5:00 a.m. – Hot Air Balloon Race
5:00 p.m. – Gates open
Great Galena Art Fair
5:30 p.m. – Live music by Mama Tess and the Chain of Fools
6:00 p.m. – Hot Air Balloon Race
Classic Car Show
8:30 p.m. – Nightglow
Sunday: 5:00 a.m. – Hot Air Balloon Race