March means winter is winding down, but it doesn’t mean it is over yet. With lots of activities going on in Galena, March is a great month to visit and enjoy a wide variety of things going on in this historic Illinois city.
Big Nut Open
The 12th Annual Big Nut Open is happening February 29 and March 1, at Chestnut Mountain Resort! With three different competitions to choose from – Rail Jam, Big Air, and Slopestyle – skiers and snowboards have options to highlight their talents. Each event registration costs $10 per competitor, and all competitors need to have a valid lift ticket and helmet. Register for one of three different non-open age groups for the 2-day competition and one open class: 13 & under, 14-17, 18 & over. There are cash prizes for the winners of the open class and product prizes from sponsors of Chestnut Mountain Resort for the non-open divisions.
Galena Goes 50s – Sock Hop
Experience the nostalgic of the 1950s during the weekend of March 6 and 7 at Galena Goes 50s. Sponsored by several local businesses, Galena Goes 50s will include dancing, live music, contests, prizes, food, and drinks. On the night of Friday, March 6th, the party starts at Galena Brewing Company with a variety of craft beer, cash bar, food and a mix of the 50s and 60s dancing music. There is no admission to attend this event. During the day on Saturday, March 7th, there will be seven different dance workshops available to attend. The workshop classes provide instruction for Lindy Hop, Jitterbug Stroll, Shim Sham, Polish & Technique, Jitterbug/Swing, Foxtrot/Swing, and Kids Swing Dancing. More information about the dance workshops is available here. Registration for any workshop will get you free entry to Saturday Night Sock Hop. Saturday night’s Sock Hop is where Galena will pay tribute to early Rock & Roll by experiencing the energy and excitement of sock-hops, beach parties, and the best of Rock & Roll. Live music from The Tailfins will be grooving from 6 – 10 p.m. at Turner Hall with a fee of $10 due at the door. Make plans to visit Galena the first weekend in March to cure your nostalgia for the beginnings of rock & roll.
St. Patrick’s Day Celebration
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Galena with a pub crawl, fun run, parade, and music. No blarney about it, you will want to don green and get away for a weekend celebration to make the Irish proud.
The fun starts on Friday, March 13th, with the St. Patrick’s Pub Crawl through downtown Main St. For $15 per person, enjoy drink specials at the various bars on the crawl while also having the chance to win giveaways throughout the night. Registration for the Pub Crawl begins at 2 p.m. at the Grape Escape with the Crawl commencing at 6 p.m. from the Green Street Tavern. Saturday morning, March 14th, don your running shoes for the 8 a.m. Mini Shimmy kid’s race or 8:15 a.m. Adult Shimmy race. Each race has a $30 entry fee that includes a t-shirt, drink token, water, raffle ticket, and goody bag. Awards will be given for the Best Dressed, 1st Place Male, 1st Place Female, and Most Fun Group. Grab a spot later that afternoon to watch the St. Patrick’s Day Parade. At 4 p.m., the parade will head down Main Street with floats, costumed clans, and marching bands. Following the parade, stop by the Elks Lodge to enjoy some music as you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day well into the early hours of March 18th.
Wine Lovers Weekend – 13th Annual
One of the most popular events of the year is Galena’s Wine Lovers weekend happening March 27-28th. Not only will there be the Grand Tasting, but the whole city will be celebrating wine with fine wine, wine-inspired dinners, celebrity chefs, pampering experiences, and so much more! The highlight of the weekend is, of course, the Grand Tasting event. The Grand Tasting is one of Illinois’ largest indoor wine tastings with over 250 wine options. For a fee of $60, you can choose from three different wine tasting events. The first one is Friday evening from 5:30 – 8 p.m. The second will be on Saturday from 1 – 3:30 p.m. and then the final tasting option is from 5 – 7:30 p.m. on Saturday. All tastings will take place at Turner Hall in downtown Galena. Tickets to the tastings usually go quickly, so get your tickets here as soon as possible!