Galena Stars in Illinois Tourism Campaign
Emmy Award-winning comedy actress Jane Lynch was in Galena to produce commercials on behalf of the Illinois tourism campaign. Lynch is best known for her work on TV's Glee and Christopher Guest's comedy film Best in Show.
The marketing campaign proclaims Illinois is in "the middle of everything." But, of course, every state has a tourism slogan, so Illinois should undoubtedly lay claim to being something great.
Indeed, the choice to film tourism ads in picturesque Galena makes excellent sense, considering the town's rich and storied past and present-day renaissance as a dynamic and fun midwestern tourism destination. In addition, over 15 million people live within a five-hour drive, and Galena is perfect for weekend getaways and staycations. It offers modern amenities and rich history.
For example, more than 1 million yearly visitors already trek to the City that once boasted the nation's premier lead mines. But, to put it into perspective, those mines represented the first mineral rush in the U.S. to generate tremendous wealth and prominent citizens.
Galena's first shipment of lead ore traveled down the Mississippi River in 1816. By 1819, the town was a trading post, with the first steamboats showing up in 1824. By 1845 Galena was producing nearly 27,000 tons of lead ore, and Jo Daviess County mined 80 percent of the lead in the United States.
By contrast, the California Gold Rush began in 1848, attracting several hundred thousand people, including many Galena miners.
Additionally, Galena's role as a vital Mississippi port and part of the civil war is unprecedented, providing nine generals. Including Ulysses S. Grant, the man who would lead Union forces to victory only to become the 18th U.S. President.
The Galena Main St., visited by so many today, is the result of preservationists with the foresight to see the historical and esthetic value of the town's architecture and Main Street.
Remnants of the town's history remain well preserved, but today there are many more boutiques than antiques.
The visitors coming to Galena are diverse. On any given day, you will see everyone from families, seniors, LGBTQ+, bachelorette and bachelor parties, couples on a romantic weekend getaway to City slickers, bikers, and area farmers gathering in Galena and around Jo Daviess County.
The City, Jo Daviess County, business owners, employees, and area citizens do a terrific job providing friendly service and quality experiences for locals and visitors alike.
Community events like the recent Oktoberfest, the July Fourth Fireworks, and the famous Halloween Parade are well executed. Many more events, big and small, are held throughout the year, whether car enthusiasts, a women's weekend, or a wedding. Galena has much to offer those looking to gather for that special occasion.
So yes, it's wise to hire a native Illinois star to make Galena play the lead in what ought to be a compelling statewide and broad regional tourism marketing campaign touting Galena as being in the middle of it all. That's called hitting the bullseye.
To learn more about Galena tourism opportunities, visit VisitGalena.org
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