Travel & Tourism
Galena/Jo Daviess County CVB - Night of Luminaria is set to glow in downtown Galena PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Celestino Ruffini   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:33

December 15 event transforms the city into a winter wonderland

GALENA, Ill. – Watch Galena come alive with the glow of thousands of luminaries on this special winter night, Saturday, December 15. Take part in this Galena tradition by helping to set out luminary bags during the day or assist in lighting the candles before the spectacle begins. Later in the evening, relax and enjoy the magical winter wonderland scene as night falls. It is a must see event!

Night of Luminaria is without a doubt one of the most beautiful and romantic visions of the year. From Galena's Main Street to the hills overlooking the park, all of town will be glowing. Enter a land of enchantment on this night when you see more than 5,000 candle-lit luminaries on streets, steps and sidewalks.

Whether you drive the streets of Galena, walk the sidewalks, take a trolley or enjoy a carriage ride, you’ll be amazed at the sights. Walk through Grant Park on Galena’s eastside or take in a gorgeous view from Prospect Street as you look across downtown Galena.

Local businesses offer extended hours of operation on this night, so take advantage of it and wrap up your holiday shopping. Afterwards, warm up as you enjoy a candlelit dinner at one of many local restaurants.

For further event information, visit, e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or call 815.777.9050. Additional area offerings and visitor information may be found at the Galena/Jo Daviess County Convention and Visitors Bureau at or by calling 877.464.2536. While in town, visit the CVB’s Old Train Depot Visitor Information Center at 101 Bouthillier St. (corner of Park Avenue) for on-site assistance and countywide information.

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Governor Quinn Reminds Travelers to Think of Safety First PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:24

Police will be Out in Force Across Illinois to Keep Roads Safe, Cracking Down on Impaired Drivers and Enforcing Seat Belt Laws

CHICAGO – November 21, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today reminded Thanksgiving holiday travelers to think of safety first while traveling on the state’s busy roadways this weekend. Millions of drivers are expected on state highways over this Thanksgiving holiday and Illinois transportation and law enforcement officials are mounting a statewide crackdown to bust impaired drivers and make sure drivers and passengers are buckling up on every trip.

“Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to be with family and friends and take stock of our blessings,” Governor Quinn said. “But it’s also a time when roadways can be more dangerous. That’s why everyone who is traveling during the holiday week should remember to buckle up each time, and never, ever allow an impaired driver to get behind the wheel.”

The statewide “Drive to Survive” crackdown, sponsored by the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Division of Traffic Safety, involves Illinois State Police (ISP) and nearly 300 local law enforcement agencies across Illinois. The campaign focuses on the deadly nighttime hours when data shows more vehicle occupants die in crashes than during any other time of day. Due to this trend, late night motorists throughout Illinois will see roadside safety checks, seat belt enforcement zones and other police saturation patrols looking for seat belt law violators and drunk drivers.

Traffic safety officials are also concerned about the high number of people who die unbuckled during nighttime hours. Studies show that an average of less than one-third of occupant fatalities are restrained properly using seat belts between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. During daytime hours, seat belt usage increases substantially, with 62 percent of vehicle occupant fatalities properly restrained. This lack of belt use means far too many people are dying on Illinois roadways, particularly during nighttime hours when alcohol often is involved.

IDOT and the Illinois Tollway are also reminding drivers to focus on the road at all times and that it’s illegal to text or check email while driving in Illinois.

During the 2011 Thanksgiving holiday eight people died in traffic crashes on Illinois roadways over the five day period and 839 were injured. Of the eight individuals who were killed, four died in crashes where at least one driver had been drinking.

Statewide, year to date, 854 people have died on Illinois roadways, according to a provisional count maintained by IDOT.

For more information about IDOT’s traffic safety enforcement campaigns and safety data, please visit


Last Chance! Register to travel to Germany with GAHC by December 1st! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by GAHC   
Monday, 26 November 2012 14:22
Dear Friend,

We would love for you to go to Germany with us here at the German American Heritage Center! But we need your registration by December 1st for our August 2013 trip!

Trip Details
Visit our website for more information:

Travel Agent Contact:
Blue Horizon Travel
Linda Meadors (309) 912-4888

Don't Hesitate! Call Today!

See Our CR This Holiday Season PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Jennifer PIckar   
Tuesday, 20 November 2012 08:57

CEDAR RAPIDS, IA – We invite you to see our Cedar Rapids this holiday season! Make a point to visit the area’s newly opened restaurants and attractions including NewBo City Market, Paramount Theatre and the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library. From theatre to festivals, mansion tours to music, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy with a number of great holiday offerings including:

NewBo City Market Holiday Markets

11/24/2012 - 12/30/2012

NewBo City Market

On Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, NewBo City Market hosts a variety of seasonal vendors in addition to a great list of full-time anchor merchants.

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Brucemore's Holiday Mansion Tours

11/23/2012 - 12/30/2012


Throughout the mansion, visitors will enjoy the seasonal splendor of glowing trees, a dining room set for Christmas dinner, stunning mantel arrangements, the lush garland adornment of the grand staircase, and other holiday cheer. 
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Meet Me In St. Louis by Theatre Cedar Rapids

11/23/2012 - 12/15/2012
Theatre Cedar Rapids

Join the Smith family at the 1904 World’s Fair, and see how their love and respect for each other is tempered with the genuine humor that can only be generated by such a special family. 
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Old Prague Christmas Market

11/30/2012 - 12/01/2012
Czech Village area

A celebration of Sv. Mikuláš (St. Nicholas) Day! Outdoor holiday shopping, fire juggling, music, hot food, children’s activities and more. This unique event, presented by the National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library brings festive shopping of international treasures and artisan gifts to Cedar Rapids.
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Nature's Noel

Indian Creek Nature Center
Centerpieces, wreaths and swags made with fresh greens; frozen soups and appetizers; vendors with various handmade wares; cookie dough and candy; and live music combine to create a festive holiday event. 
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Fire and Ice Festival

Downtown Cedar Rapids
A chili challenge in the Armstrong Food Court, lighted holiday parade, carriage rides, Santa Meet and Greet along with the return of the always popular Ugly Holiday Sweater party are just a few of day’s highlights!

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Orchestra Iowa presents The Nutcracker

12/01/2012 - 12/02/2012
Paramount Theatre/Orchestra Iowa

Three performances featuring Ballet Quad Cities at the recently re-opened Paramount Theatre.
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Christmas in the Park and Peppermint Walk

City Square Park, Marion

Activities will include the lighting of the Community Peace Tree, live holiday music, horse-drawn carriage rides, and the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by fire engine. 
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Holiday Time in Santa's Workshop

Ushers Ferry Historic Village
You'll enjoy breakfast in the Hotel, baking and decorating in the Telephone House, and toy making in the Town Hall. Don't forget to have your photo taken with Santa Claus!

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Find these events and so many more at

About the Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Cedar Rapids Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (CRACVB) is where the experience starts for visitors, residents and organizations. The CRACVB is responsible for attracting new destination events to the community, providing service and support to existing and repeat events, providing comprehensive information to area visitors and helping drive decisions of future visitor product development. Locally the organization encourages community pride and educates the community on the value of visitors, tourism and travel. Tourism resulted in domestic travel spending of $440 million in Linn County in 2011 and employed 5,600 people in Linn County. For more information about the CRACVB visit:


Illinois Approves Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) on Chicago-St. Louis High-Speed Rail Corridor PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Ryan C. Woods   
Friday, 16 November 2012 11:13

Tier 1 EIS Decision Expected in December on Historic Transportation Project

SPRINGFIELD –November 15, 2012. Governor Pat Quinn today announced that the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) have signed and issued the Tier 1 Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the full build-out of the Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail corridor. The EIS advances the identification of preferred alternatives, including the Rock Island Corridor as the recommended route between Joliet and Chicago and a Tier 2 project-level evaluation for the Springfield Rail Improvement Project, which recommended a consolidated train route along 10th Street through Springfield. The document will now be available to the public and a potential Record of Decision could be issued at the end of December.

“This historic achievement advances the crucial Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail project while signifying that all environmental impacts and route alternatives have been analyzed to determine the best option,” Governor Quinn said. “Today’s issuance of the EIS demonstrates Illinois’ steadfast diligence and partnership with the federal government, Senator Dick Durbin, communities along the route, private rail partners and other key supporters to move this project forward as quickly as possible.”

The Tier 1 EIS includes IDOT’s preferred Chicago-Joliet route—the Rock Island Corridor (RIC) instead of the existing route—the Heritage Corridor. The $1 billion estimated cost for upgrading the RIC is $500 million less than for the Heritage, mainly because fewer grade separations would be needed. The EIS also represents significant progress on the next stage of high-speed rail after upgrades to the Dwight-Alton portion of the corridor (expected as early as 2015) and the Dwight-Joliet section (anticipated to be complete in 2017) are finished.

“We are one step closer to the Tenth Street corridor in Springfield,” U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) said.  “Our community-wide efforts and the Springfield meeting we arranged with federal, state and local officials last year put us on the ‘right track’: Tenth Street.”

“I was thrilled to sign this historic document, which represents thousands of hours spent by our staff and contractors researching and using environmental, scientific and engineering evidence along with public input to determine the most logical and effective routes for Chicago-St. Louis high-speed rail passenger service,” Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann L. Schneider said. “Today marks a major milestone in our pursuit to advance the project, and we hope it results with a Record of Decision from the federal government in the next couple of months.”

The Tier 1 EIS focuses on double-tracking the entire line, while the Tier 2 EIS pinpoints two alternatives along the existing 10th Street rail corridor as finalists to carry the high-speed trains through Springfield. A series of statewide public hearings were held by IDOT and the FRA this year to seek comments on the Draft EIS. To view a copy of the EIS online, please visit

“The approval from IDOT represents a major step forward for the project and indicates we will receive a favorable Record of Decision in December,” Springfield Mayor Mike Houston said.

EIS approval is a process required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for federal projects that might significantly impact the environment. The EIS is required to complete the full build-out of the project, including double-tracking and route improvements between Joliet and Chicago and through the city of Springfield.

“This is welcome news that IDOT and the FRA have approved the final Tier I EIS, which reflects the selection of 10th Street Corridor for high-speed rail through Springfield,” Sangamon County Board Chairman Andy Van Meter said. “We are excited about the opportunities this will bring to our community and wish to thank Senator Durbin, Governor Quinn and Secretary Schneider for their vision and continued support in moving this forward as rapidly as they have.  We look forward to the Record of Decision in December when, with IDOT’s help, we can start the design phase of the project.”

Under the leadership of Governor Quinn, Illinois has received more than $1.4 billion in federal funding to develop high-speed service between Chicago and St. Louis, which is expected to significantly reduce travel times between the two cities and create about 6,200 direct and indirect jobs. The Governor’s Illinois Jobs Now! capital program has contributed $42 million toward construction. The first trains traveling at 110 mph made their successful debut between Dwight and Pontiac during a demonstration run in October.


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