Fall has long been a popular time for romantic getaways to beautiful Galena. With trees changing colors and big events adding lots to do, it’s no wonder that many people love to enjoy autumn here year after year. This fall season has been no exception.
The 12th Annual Oktoberfest was a big hit. Not to be missed of course were the wiener dog races. Wayne Messmer broke away from his usual duties for the Blackhawks and Cubs and opened the competition with his usual stirring rendition of the national anthem.
The Galena Country Fair brought out 150 artisans from around the country. Unique handmade crafts and artwork delighted thousands of people, as it has for years. Live music, delicious food and lots of baked goods added to the weekend’s festivities, along with a silent auction and raffle.
October will be capped off by Galena’s 40th year of Halloween activities. Friday, October 26th, will feature a dazzling hot-air balloon glow along Route 20, followed by Galena’s Ghoulish Gala at Turner Hall. Music for this premier costume party will be provided by Ten Gallon Hat, and a cash bar will be available. Also that night is the First Annual Witches Ball, to be held at 129 Main Street. American Murder Song will be performing their very own murder ballads from the 1800s. A three-course dinner, drink specials and a costume contest will all be part of the fun.
On Saturday, October 27th, there will be balloon flights (weather permitting), a free kids fest at Galena Middle School, and food vendors downtown. Of course, the events would not be complete without Galena’s Halloween Parade, the largest, longest and spookiest parade in the tri-state area. It will featuring spectacular floats, marching bands, costumed participants, and prizes and treats for both the young and the young at heart.
Fall events will continue into November. The historically minded will not want to miss Saturday Nov. 3, which will mark the 150th anniversary of the election of Galenian U.S. Grant to the presidency. Walking tours will be given from the DeSoto House Hotel, where voting will take place (yes, you can cast your ballot), to the Washburne House, where Grant and many of his supporters will be awaiting election returns. From there, you can follow Grant up to his home. Prominent historians from the Midwest will act as tour guides.
Nouveau Wine weekend will take place Nov. 16 and 17. This tradition celebrates the practice of bottling the first wine of the harvest just a few weeks after fermentation. Galena Cellars hosts this fall series of events, which starts at noon on Friday, Nov. 16, with the official release of the new wine and includes a parade down Main Street and the participation of many local restaurants.
It’s clear why fall in Galena is a special time. We hope that you will find time to enjoy the season, and we hope that you will make the Cloran Mansion Bed & Breakfast your home away from home!