Dubuque IA Holiday Events
Christmas Lights - Reflections in the Park Festival - Dubuque, IA
Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday events in Dubuque, Iowa. Every other year Jo and I have traveled to one of the towns along the Upper Mississippi Great River Road to spend the weekend at a historic hotel. In 2011, we stayed at the Hotel Julian Dubuque. The Hotel Julian dates back to 1839 and the original Julian Hotel on this site. That structure was destroyed by fire and the current rendition originally constructed in 1915. Since that time the hotel has undergone two significant remodeling, the first from 1962 - 67 and the latest, a 30+ million dollar endeavor, from 2007 - 2009, including being closed for 6 months. The most recent renaissance, involving both interior and exterior, restored the hotel to its 1915 grandeur.
Thanksgiving Dinner - Caroline's Restaurant, Hotel Julian Dubuque
The hotel didn’t offer a Thanksgiving buffet but it’s Caroline’s Restaurant did offer a choice of a traditional turkey platter or a traditional maple glazed ham dinner. Both entrees came with sautéed green beans drizzled with a honey balsamic glaze and served with Caroline’s classic turkey dressing and Chef Drew’s signature mashed potatoes smothered in rich turkey gravy. Also included was a side of homemade cranberry sauce and a house salad. We chose the classic turkey dinner. The turkey and beans were done to perfection, moist, warm and not over-cooked. The rest of the side dishes were equally satisfying and none of us went away hungry.
The hotel lobby and atrium level were decorated for the holidays. Sprinkled around the perimeter of the center of the lobby were several conversation areas with soft chairs and sofas to accommodate small groups of people. The lobby second floor atrium level offered several more sets of lounging chairs.
The Atrium Level was set up to host the centerpiece of the annual Festival of Trees. Several business and community groups create uniquely decorated Christmas Trees that are on display for the seven days of the Festival. Bids are accepted to purchase each tree with the proceeds going to a non-profit charity that is designated for each tree.