When you hear Gala, you might have an image in your head of young ladies in big dresses gathered on a staircase as an orchestra plays. Now that might be a gala somewhere, but I can assure you — that’s not a Glensheen Gala.

So…what is it?

The Glensheen Gala is a FULL ACCESS PARTY

Picture people strolling the grounds under strings of cafe lights. Some are dressed to the nines, others are simply dressed nicely, everyone is comfortable. They have drinks in hand, laughing and taking in the beautiful evening by Lake Superior.

Some are sitting on comfortable furniture around one of the bonfires. Others are exploring the mansion, many are on the porches and balconies engaged in conversations taking in the general splendor. And still others are exploring areas that aren’t typically open the public.

For 2018, Glensheen is opening up their Carriage House attic. Not only has the public not seen it, even most Glensheen staff has not been in the space! The Gala is a once a year opportunity to unlock locks, swing open the hasps and get your inquisitive selves behind the scenes!

And, you really do want to circulate throughout the estate as there are 4 different keys to be found. When you’ve collected them all, you’ll earn your very own gala key to take home  — and wow, it’s a keeper. I mean, it’s an actual bottle opener and who doesn’t want that?

The Glensheen Gala is a venue for great FOOD

This year, Northern Waters Smokehouse, will be creating a magical British-Isles-influenced menu for a variety of palettes. These eats will include everything from smoked Lake Trout, English Hand Pies with lamb, peas, mint and potatoes, Pancetta Puffs, a selection of British Isle cheeses and, of course, sweets.

Desserts and coffee will be located in the Carriage House’s Garage space. On the menu, items like trifle pies with custard, homemade jam, clotted cream, and chocolate shavings.

You know you want to try a trifle.

The Glensheen Gala is the place for delicious DRINKS

Your ticket entitles you to two (2) beverage tickets to be used at bars set up across the party. But, it also gives you Shots in the Dark! These are signature hard liquor drinks set up in some of the nookiest of Glensheen’s crannies — and come with a chaser of fun.

It’s kinda like a treasure hunt for grown ups.

The Glensheen Gala is the GROUNDS & GARDENS at its peak

The Gala has traditionally been in the spring when honestly, the grounds are just starting to emerge from the Duluth winter. But this year, because the date is August 18, the gardens and grounds are in their absolute glory. (Photo below by George Ilstrup)

It is hard to stress how lovely the estate is this time of year. The flowers will be at their gorgeous peak for garden exploration.

The Glensheen Gala is just SUMMER FOLLY.

It’s a little bit silly fun and twinkly lights in the height of summer. And who can’t use a little more of that?

Tickets are available at on the Glensheen website, HERE