September is all about the start of fall and the end of summer. It encompasses some of the most pleasing days outdoors – those that are not too hot, but not too cold either. With this type of weather, it is essential to get outside and soak up everything you can before it’s time to trade your sandals in for skis, and your bikes in for snowboards! Galena, IL is the perfect place to get out, enjoy the weather, and enjoy the fall season.
HAVE FUN FUNDRAISING
Fundraising is so important as it gives back to the community and helps organizations and individuals who need a boost. Throughout the month of September, Galena is turning their fundraisers into fun and exciting events that everyone can enjoy.
The Heroes for History Stair Challenge on September 7th offers two options for participants. There is a one-lap fun run that begins at 8:15 a.m. for $25. These participants can dress as their favorite hero to run or walk the stairs – all for fun – there is no timing or heats of people going. If you’re more competitive, the 5K begins at 8:45 a.m. The cost for the 5K is $35 ($30 if you’re an active duty first responder) and includes a t-shirt and refreshments. A 5K is 7 laps of the stairs, with waves of 5 going at one time. If there are multiple people going with you, you can register as a team and there will be winners of the most people in family, coworkers, and friends categories. All proceeds go to support the Galena-based first responders and the Historical Society. Every participant is encouraged to raise at least $50 to further help support the first responders. You simply fill out a pledge sheet with the names of people who donated to you and then when you check in, you’ll hand them your pledge sheet and the money. The top 3 individual fundraisers will win a special prize at the end of the event. Registration for this event closes on September 6th at midnight. Check in begins Friday night from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 6:30 a.m. until 7:45 a.m. when the Opening Ceremony and the Presentation of the Colors begins.
On September 14th, athletes can participate in a triathlon to support Kreider Services. Kreider Services has a mission to provide meaningful support to people with disabilities to live, work, and participate in their community while striving for true community inclusion. This triathlon will start with a 6-mile kayak trip down the Galena River followed by a 17-mile bike race around Galena on both paved roads and crushed limestone paths before you hop off the bike and run 3.1-miles through Buehler Nature Preserve. The triathlon begins and ends at Depot Park – right across from downtown Galena. It’s $65 for a solo entry and $125 for a team entry with the prices increasing on the day of the event. If you need to rent a kayak or a bike, Fever River Outfitters offers different styles for rent.
On September 28th and 29th, Galena is hosting their 52nd Annual Tour of Historic Homes. The homes will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. both days so that visitors can experiences Galena’s 19th Century architecture and interiors. There will be five private homes only open this weekend and then the 1858 Barrows mansion will be open as well. This event is a guided tour complete with a shuttle between each home. If you buy a ticket before September 15th, they are $18 per person which increases to $20 after this deadline. Children under 10 who come with an adult are free. You can purchase tickets over the phone at 815-777-9129, in person at the museum, or at the Gateway to History store on Main Street Galena. All proceeds go to Galena-Jo Daviess County Historical Society.
BREWERIES, WINERIES, ACTIVITIES – OH MY!
When you think of alcohol, you usually don’t also think of exercising. Well, now you can. With two events hosted in and around Galena that include alcohol and some form of outdoor exercise, you can have the best of both worlds.
Potosi Brewing Company in Potosi, WI is hosting a Tour de Pints from September 6th through September 8th. This is an active biking experience that will take you through Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin. Each day will start and end in Potosi, WI at Potosi Brewing Company complete with live music, craft beer, food, games, and more. Starting at 7 a.m., Friday is the longest ride with the tour guides taking you 34-miles one way to Galena, IL before biking the 34-miles back to Potosi. Saturday’s guides will take you 28 miles one way to Dubuque, IA before you head back. And Sunday is the shortest distance at 11 miles one way to Vesperman Farms in Lancaster, WI where you will then have the option to take the same 11 miles back to Potosi or extending your trip back and taking a 25-mile trail. The pricing ranges from $40 to $200 depending on how many days you want to participate. There is also the option of a non-rider ticket that includes all the activities that take place at Potosi Brewing Company after the day of riding is over. You do not have to be 21 to experience this biking excursion, however you will not be able to drink the local craft beer unless you are of legal drinking age.
Galena Cellars Fall Harvest and Art Festival
To celebrate the 2019 Fall harvest, Galena Cellars is hosting an event at their vineyard on September 28th. From 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. you can head out to their vineyard and help them crush the grapes that will be turned into wine, listen to live music by the Fever River String Band, go on horse-drawn wagon rides, and watch local artists work. They also offer a tour of the vineyard for $7.50 and wine tasting for $10 (if you want to do both it’s $15). With those being the only costs, it sounds like the perfect Saturday to get out there, turn your feet purple and feel the burn in your thighs that comes from making wine the old-fashioned way.
FALL WITH FRIENDS AND FAMILY
With September being the first full month back to school, it’s important to spend time with your family when everyone has the time. This is usually the weekends for most families, and thankfully, Galena is home to a plethora of outdoor, family-friendly activities all September long.
Grab your gal pals and come join in on the fun at Galena’s Ladies Getaway Weekend from Friday, September 6th to Sunday, September 8th. The event starts Friday at 10 a.m. and goes until 10 p.m. on Sunday night. The weekend will be full of events, games, shopping, food and beverages, and a lot of hot deals from local businesses, including the Sexy Lady Sangria from De Soto House Hotel on Main Street. This drink will be only $5 and is a spiced red apple flavor that will be available all weekend. To see the rest of the great businesses who are joining in on the Getaway fun, visit the Ladies Getaway Weekend Facebook Page!
Come to the Owner’s Club parking lot to experience the 15th season of Galena’s very own Farmer’s Market. With September being the beginning of the end of harvesting season, the market will be running on September 1st, September 15th, and September 20th from 8 a.m. until noon. There’s a plethora of fresh produce, flowers, and plants, as well as free-range antibiotic-free meat, homemade jams and jellies, and baked goods. Local artists also set up in the parking lot for market goers to browse through while live music plays in the background of your morning experience.
If you decide to head to the Farmer’s Market on the 15th, you can come back later for a Farm to Table dinner prepared by the local farmers you bought your produce from earlier that morning. With so much to do and see, your whole family will be able to stay entertained and interested – even in the morning.
Mallardfest, on September 21st, takes place in Hanover, IL – a mere 30 minutes from Galena. The event is a tribute to the town’s Whistling Wings Hatchery who raises and exports more than 200,000 mallard ducks each year. It is also a celebration of fall. Starting at 9 a.m. and ending at 10 p.m., Mallardfest is an all-day event that includes a parade, games for kids, pontoon boat rides, music, fireworks, a duck-calling contest, and more. It costs $7 for a family, $3 for adults, and $1 for kids, making it a fun and cheap way to spend your Saturday.
The 48th Annual Warren Pumpkin Festival is happening September 27th through September 29th in Warren, IL. Starting at 5 p.m. on Friday and ending at 7 p.m. on Sunday, there will be a weekend full of fun and old-fashioned things to do for the whole family. There will be antique tractor pulls, a parade, carnival rides, pumpkin-themed games, a petting zoo, and live music. With so much to do, the whole family is sure to stay busy and have fun.