Country Fair a force of unification

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

It really is quite remarkable on so many levels the success of the Galena Country Fair through all of these years.


Held over Columbus Day Weekend for approximately 40 years, this even has attracted hundreds of thousands of people to this town that time forgot. It has spawned offshoot events. It’s been held under sunny skies, rain and even a bit of snow.


I’ve had great admiration for this event, not for just the commerce it brings filling hotels, motels, B&Bs, restaurants and stores. I’ve always admired how the Country Fair has been a force of unification in Jo Daviess County.


Since the very beginning, people throughout Jo Daviess County worked on a common project. They came from Warren, East Dubuque, Stockton Apple River, Scales Mound, Nora, Menominee, Hanover, Elizabeth and Galena donating food, money and time. It all worked.


In 2003, The Galena Country Fair began operating under the wings of Jo Daviess County Fair Charities, Inc. It all meant local control, local leadership and maybe most important: Profits are used to support local not-for-profits.


I share all of this, because the Galena Country Fair has hit an important milestone. Since 2003, the organization provided grants and donations exceeding $1 million. Is that something to celebrate? I think so.

Since 2003, the organization has provided grants totaling $668,489.71 to over 100 local not-for-profit organizations spread out through Jo Daviess County.


The organization also supports not-for-profits whose members volunteer at the fair. A $10 donation is made for every volunteer [hour worked]. Through the years, not-for-profits have received $381,884.


That’s a lot of money. It’s also a lot of volunteer time for people who are part of something bigger than themselves.


In this week’s Gazette there is a full-page ad from Jo Daviess County Country Fair Charities thanking the Jo Daviess County community for its support through all the years.


I think it is we, the community, who should be thanking this wonderful organization for its support of us.


Courtesy of the Galena Gazette.

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Grant Park

625 Park Ave.

Galena, Illinois

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