Best Things to Do in Galena, IL this Spring

Best Things to Do in Galena, IL this Spring

Dates – March 3-4, 2017, starting 7pm both days
Locations – March 3 – Galena Brewing Company, 227 N. Main Street; March 4 – Turner Hall, 115 S. Bench Street.
Telephone – (815) 275-5231
Admission – March 3 “Meet n Greet” is free. March 4 “Sock Hop” is $10. Attend a Saturday workshop, and Sock Hop admission is complimentary!

This event echoes the rollicking dance music of the ’50s through the ’80s. Kick off your weekend Friday night at the Galena Brewing Company. This “Meet n’ Greet” party features a fabulous show by Rosie & The Rivets. The charismatic four-member band will keep you bopping to the beat of favorite oldies. Sashay up to the cash bar for craft beer and delicious food.

Saturday night features a Sock Hop from 7-11pm. The Tailfins band plays a musical tribute to legendary rock ‘n roll stars. You’ll dance to hits by Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly, and Jerry Lee Lewis. Revisit the Swinging Sixties with tunes by the Beatles, Rolling Stones, and Creedence Clearwater. Rock on with classic Motown music and surf songs by the Beach Boys.

Before the Sock Hop, get your feet in gear with one-hour dance workshops. Fees for the Saturday sessions at Turner Hall are $15 per person. Here’s the workshop schedule:

  • 9-10:15am – Beginner Swing/Jitterbug
  • 10:30-11:30am – Intermediate/Advanced Jitterbug
  • 1:30-2:30pm – Beginner Lindy Hop
  • 2:45-3:45pm – Salsa
  • 4:00-5:00pm – Hustle Line Dancing

You can buy your ticket here. Arrive at your workshop early to register. Attendance entitles you to free admission to the Sock Hop. Perhaps you’ll win a prize in the dance contests!

Ladies, look the part with poodle skirts and scarves. Men, be cool cats in Hawaiian shirts and khaki pants. Couples, don’t forget your saddle shoes!

Dates – March 10 and April 14, 2017, 5-8pm both days
Locations – Various downtown art studios and galleries
Telephone – (800) 281-4478 and (815) 777-4277
Admission – Free

Mosey through downtown Galena, viewing the works of 10 art galleries, with an after-hours tour. Refreshments are included!

Other participating venues include Images of Nature, Skidmore Art Gallery, Grace Episcopal Arts, Outside the Lines Gallery, Janet Checker Studio, Maggie Black, River Bend Gallery, Hello Galena, and Stone House Potters and Gallery. This is your chance to find a rare treasure!

Date – March 11, 2017 – 8am Walk/Run; 5pm Parade.
Location – Galena Elks Lodge, 123 N. Main Street
Telephone – (815) 777-0011
Entry Fee – Age 19 and older – $30 for a T-shirt, drink token, raffle ticket, goodie bag, and water. Free for youth under age 18.

The race begins and ends behind the Elks Lodge on Commerce Street. You can either run or walk the downtown route. At 8am, children under age 18 open the event with the Mini Shimmy race. The Shamrock Shimmy 5K is designed for age 19 and above. Awards will go to the Most Fun Group, Best Dressed, First Place Guy, and First Place Gal. Proceeds from the event support the Galena Art & Recreation Center.

Here are map routes for the Kids Mini Shimmy and 5K Adult Shamrock Shimmy. Here you can register in advance.

Pick up your registration packet on March 10, between 5-8pm at the Galena Elks Lodge. You’re welcome to join their dinner, a choice of pasta or fish. You can also obtain your packet on race day, starting at 7am.

At 5pm, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade begins at Main Street, with costumed clans, marching bands, and fantastic floats. The parade route ends at Perry Street.

Dates – March 18, April 29, or May 20, 2017, 11am-2pm
Location – Galena Cellars Vineyard and Winery, 4746 North Ford Road
Telephone – Call (815) 541-0068 for reservations. Call (815) 777-3235 for general vineyard information.
Cost – $40 per person + optional $15 materials fee, including a box lunch and wine tasting.

You don’t need painting experience to attend this class with artist Sandra Principe. You’ll be given step-by-step instructions for painting either a canvas or pair of wine glasses. Advance registration is required.

Consider concluding your afternoon with a vineyard tour at 2pm or 4pm. After seeing how the wines are made, you can relax on the lawn, deck, or tasting room.

The Lawlor family has been expertly crafting wine for the past 40 years. Their picturesque farmland grows 22 specialty grapes and produces 40 varietals, including award-winning red, white, and fruit wines. The vineyard is a 10-minute drive from downtown, just off Stagecoach Trail. Tour admission is $7.50.

Here are photos and a video clip on the vineyard’s history. See breathtaking examples of the painter’s talent here.

Date – April 8, 2017, 8am-2pm
Location – Galena River Trail at Galena Recreational Park, 1721 Field Street
Telephone – (815) 777-4960
Cost – $30 before March 24; $35 on event day. Free for children age 12 and under who register with an adult.

You’re welcome to walk or run at this event, on a 5K or 10K course along the scenic Galena River Trail. There’s also a 2.5-mile walk. The races start and end at Galena Recreational Park.

Register before March 24, and you’ll receive a T-shirt, water bottle, and goodie bag. Children registering before April 3 are awarded a participation medal. Prizes will be issued to the top male and female finishers and winners in each age category. Register online here.

The crushed stone rail-trail is built on a Burlington Railroad spur, showing some of the original signal foundations. The corridor is mostly forest but encompasses limestone bluffs and wetlands. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and emerging flowers!


Dance into spring with the ’50s Weekend, wearing classic retro garb. In March and April, you have two Art Gallery Strolls from which to choose. Celebrate Irish heritage by jigging downtown on a 5K route, ending the day with a parade!

In April, lace up your racing shoes for the course along the Galena River Trail. In March, April, or May, take a Paint and Pour art class at Galena Cellars Vineyard.

Can’t you just smell the fragrant hyacinth?

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