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The unexpectedness of discovery can be one of the most gratifying experiences in our lives. Whether we are discovering something for the first time or re-discovering something that we haven’t explored in years, the feeling envelopes our senses and brings joy and happiness to the forefront of our adventures. It was in 1680 that French explorers first established a fort along the Illinois River where our communities now thrive. Before that, Native Americans had settled in our region for centuries, creating a network of commerce and trade along the river. Today, our great communities continue
to be a hub for travel and business and a home to hundreds of thousands. We invite you to explore our region, to create new memories, and to discover why the Peoria region has been so special, for so long, in so many hearts.

Discover the best professional documents and content resources in AnyFlip Document Base.
Published by Discover Peoria, 2020-05-21 23:51:58

2020-2021 Discover Peoria Guide

The unexpectedness of discovery can be one of the most gratifying experiences in our lives. Whether we are discovering something for the first time or re-discovering something that we haven’t explored in years, the feeling envelopes our senses and brings joy and happiness to the forefront of our adventures. It was in 1680 that French explorers first established a fort along the Illinois River where our communities now thrive. Before that, Native Americans had settled in our region for centuries, creating a network of commerce and trade along the river. Today, our great communities continue
to be a hub for travel and business and a home to hundreds of thousands. We invite you to explore our region, to create new memories, and to discover why the Peoria region has been so special, for so long, in so many hearts.

Keywords: Peoria,East Peoria,Morton,Pekin,Washington,Chillicothe,Peoria Heights,Central Illinois,Heart of Illinois,Peoria IL,Illinois,Midwest,Downstate Illinois,Enjoy Peoria,Discover Peoria,Peoria Area,Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau,Peoria Area CVB,River City,Whiskey City



2 1

WELCOME Jhoeinreu.s.. Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau

The unexpectedness of discovery can be one Twin Towers Mall Plaza
of the most gratifying experiences in our 456 Fulton Street, Suite 300
lives. Whether we are discovering something
for the first time or re-discovering something Peoria, IL 61602
that we haven’t explored in years, the feeling
envelopes our senses and brings joy and (309) 676-0303 | [email protected]
happiness to the forefront of our adventures.
It was in 1680 that French explorers first
established a fort along the Illinois River
where our communities now thrive. Before PUBLICATION TEAM
that, Native Americans had settled in our
region for centuries, creating a network of Publication Director: Josh Albrecht
commerce and trade along the river. Today,
our great communities continue Graphic Design: Heather Soviar
to be a hub for travel and business and a
home to hundreds of thousands. We invite Editorial Contributors: Ashley Randall,
you to explore our region, to create new MacKenzie Taylor, Julia Nusbaum
memories, and to discover why the Peoria
region has been so special, for so long, in Advertising Sales: Emily Vonachen
so many hearts.
Images displayed throughout this guide were provided by the
J.D. Dalfonso Peoria Area CVB and its partners unless otherwise marked.

President/CEO The official Discover Peoria Guide is produced and
published by the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors
Bureau. Reproduction without written permissions is

strictly prohibited. Every effort was made to ensure
accuracy of the information in this guide as of press time.
The PACVB assumes no responsibility for errors, changes

or omissions. Listings and advertisements are provided
and/or approved by the subject companies - the PACVB
is not responsible or liable for any inaccuracy, omission
or infringement of any third party’s rights therein, or any

other damage whatsoever.


Start your journey at Peoria International
Airport with daily non-stop flights to the
4 most connected airports in the country.



View flight information at

6100 W. Everett M. Dirksen Parkway | Peoria, IL | 309.697.8272



18 Q&A


Meet Travis Mohlenbrink, local
entrepreneur, as we discover how
his 2005 part-time catering business
blossomed into six restaurants,
brewery and catering company.



Peoria may be the Whiskey City, but
we know how to brew too! Check out
our top places and favorite beers.



Mountain biking in Illinois? Yes! Read
how PAMBA, a local club, is looking
to make Peoria a mountain biking



Learn how a local couple is using
the arts to lift community pride and
change the face of Peoria.



Make where you stay just as exciting
as your trip itinerary.


44 309 SPORTS

Peoria, ILlinois

Welcome to Peoria, the largest city on the machinery like the pros do! Visitors can enjoy
Illinois River. Formerly the Whiskey Capital of a cruise along the Illinois River on the Spirit
the World, Peoria found its new identity after of Peoria, one of the nation’s only overnight
Prohibition decimated the distilleries. Hometown paddle wheelers. Peoria’s strong history in
to Caterpillar Inc., Peoria made a new name sports is evident with over 10 golf courses to
for itself in the manufacturing industry. Today, choose from, hockey with the Peoria Rivermen
innovators like AutonomouStuff are leading or baseball with the Peoria Chiefs, a Class A
central Illinois into the future of automation. St. Louis Cardinals affiliate. Hungry? The dining
While the circumstances may change, the fierce options in Peoria are endless. Enjoy delicious
spirit of Peoria endures. pub food and craft beer at Obed & Isaac’s
Don’t miss the Peoria Riverfront Museum, Microbrewery located in a renovated church
the only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in constructed in 1889. Or try Thyme Kitchen
the U.S. This museum offers major exhibitions, + Craft Beer, a gastropub with unique food
a dome planetarium, giant screen theater and options and an extensive drink menu.
interactive displays for all ages. Or visit the
Caterpillar Visitors Center and learn the story Whiskey. Manufacturing.
of how this manufacturing giant came to be. Sports. Automation.
Take a virtual ride in the bed of a massive two Past, present and future,
and a half story Cat 797F Mining Truck. Enjoy this is Peoria.
interactive exhibits like designing your own Cat
machine and see what it’s like to operate heavy


Obed & Isaac’s

Dozer Park

Caterpillar Visitors Center 5



A quick drive across the Illinois River takes you
to East Peoria, where entertainment is never in short
supply. Home to the famous Festival of Lights,
this marvel of engineering creates giant floats and
scenes made entirely of Christmas lights!
Enjoy live casino action at the Par-A-Dice Hotel
Casino and choose from over 900 slot machines,
30 table games and live poker. Par-A-Dice also
offers fine dining at Boyd’s Steakhouse or more
casual dining at Options Buffet, Nelson’s Deli, and
Bourbon’s. Try the all new Tin Lizard Bar & Grill,
the go-to spot for good drinks, great food and the
best local and regional bands.
Discover the numerous shopping and dining
options in the ever-growing Levee District.
Experience any hunter’s paradise at Bass Pro
Shops complete with a 26,000 gallon freshwater
aquarium and enjoy a game of bowling with dinner
at Uncle Buck’s Fishbowl.

Par-A-Dice Casino

6 Eastport Marina

Mineral Springs Park

Avanti’s Dome & Event Center

Joe Diffie Concert


The Marigold Capital of the World is filled with hunt through local businesses and a musical Christmas
unique attractions to explore. Home to the world’s light show. Downtown businesses stay open late and
largest sundial, you can spend the day in Mineral offer treats, activities and a one-of-a-kind shopping
Springs Park paddle boating on the lagoon. Enjoy experience rooted in community pride.
world class golf courses, Pekin Paintball Park, disc
golf, bowling and Dragonland Water Park. Take a Emerging as more than just a sports complex is the
stroll downtown on historic Court Street and enjoy an Avanti’s Dome and Event Center. In addition to four
abundance of shopping and delicious dining! baseball/softball fields, 500+ parking spaces and a
The perfect way to experience Court Street is at the full-service concession stand, the Dome also boasts a
annual “Christmas on Court”. This classic Pekin event versatile event center. Check out the “Dome after Dark”
offers free horse drawn carriage rides, a scavenger events as well as an exciting new summer concert
series with nationally known acts. 7

Morton Pumpkin Festival Parade

Pumpkin Princess Float

MORTON Ūnum Fine Wine & Whiskey Lounge

Welcome to the Pumpkin Capital of the
World! Morton is home to Nestle USA, maker of
the world’s top selling canned pumpkin, Libby’s
Pumpkin. What holiday dinner is complete
without a pumpkin pie made from Libby’s? This
quaint, peaceful village is rapidly building its
image as an up-and-coming foodie destination.
Try Kemp 208 for a relaxed, family friendly
dining experience while staying true to modern
perspective and an intricate focus to detail.
Boasting an upscale menu, Kemp 208 brings the
freshest ingredients to the food they serve, along
with a dynamic wine, beer and spirits collection.
Or grab some friends and visit Seasons
Gastropub for an eclectic menu and a seemingly
endless beer, wine and cocktail list. Seasons is
the perfect place to enjoy a breezy summer night
with live music on their outdoor patio. For a more
classy, upscale option, try Ūnum Fine Wine &
Whiskey Lounge. Sip their artisan cocktails
inspired by the prohibition era while you marvel
their entrancing backlit wine wall.



Founded in 1825, historic Washington is a
wonderful place to slow down and enjoy life.
Immerse yourself in the unique and charming
shopping opportunities on the historic
Washington Square and grab a bite to eat at
The Blacksmith, a delicious eatery located in a
renovated bank from the 1800’s.
Visit Five Points Washington, a community
center that is never lacking in fun for all ages. In
addition to the fitness and aquatic center, Five
Points offers banquet and meeting space and
theater. The event calendar is always filled with
exciting, nationally recognized acts you won’t
want to miss live at Five Points.

Washington Square

Five Points Washington

Scotty McCreery Concert 9

Tower Park

Peoria Heights

Nestled on the west bluffs of the Illinois River
is the picturesque village of Peoria Heights.
President Theodore Roosevelt described his
visit to the neighborhood of Grandview Drive
as “the world’s most beautiful drive”. Offering
scenic views of the mesmerizing Illinois River, this
phrase still holds true to that statement over a
century later.
The thriving downtown business district
plays home to over 75 unique businesses
and independently owned retail stores and
restaurants. Grab a beer at Publik House, taste
intriguing twists on the beloved taco at Cayenne
and hear some great music at Heritage Square.
Peoria Heights offers it all!

New to the village is the Betty Jayne
Brimmer Center for the Performing Arts.
This cultural hub pays honor to Betty Jayne
Brimmer, a gifted dancer and performer in the
waning days of vaudeville and mother to Kim
Blickenstaff, founder and chairman of the KDB
Group. The center is the first development project
spearheaded by the KDB Group with many more
to come. Now open with a full events calendar,
you can find live music and stand-up comedy in
the evenings and weekends.

Grandview Drive


CHILLICOTHE Most notable in this river town is the yearly
Summer Camp Music Festival. This multi-day music
Located only fifteen miles north of Peoria is festival at Three Sisters Park brings more than 30,000
historic Chillicothe, where the rails cross the river. This visitors to the town of 6,000 residents every Memorial
town grew from its river traffic and ideal location for Day Weekend.
railroad transportation. The flourishing downtown
business district is classic Main Street USA playing Town Theatre
home to boutiques, restaurants, barber shops and the
Town Theater.
Chillicothe’s Town Theatre is located in a
reclaimed opera house dating back to 1920. After the
opera house suffered a catastrophic fire in 1922, the
site sat empty until 1926 when it was purchased and
reopened as the Sunset Theatre in 1927. After several
incarnations and another fire in 1982, the theater is
now owned by the Chillicothe Optimist Club.

Summer Camp Music Festival

@ Three Sisters Park 11

more to


fulton county Dickson Mounds Museum

Surrounded by over 30 miles of Illinois River and community with a close tie to President Abraham
40 miles of the Spoon River, Fulton County offers an Lincoln. Lincoln visited the county on at least four
escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. The occasions and both Lincoln and Douglas visited Lacon
Spoon River Scenic Drive starts at Medina, carving in 1854 and were set to both make speeches in front
a wide scenic valley through Fulton County as it of the courthouse, though neither spoke. Marshall
flows from London Mills to the south and east where County’s Old Settlers Festival will be celebrating its
it joins the Illinois River near the southeastern corner 150th year in 2020! This annual county festival is held
of the county. Since 1968, Fulton County has hosted at the marina in Lacon and features a unique festival
the Scenic Drive’s Fall Festival on the Spoon River theme each year. The festival also features a 5K and
Drive the first two full weekends in October. Are you 10K, parade, stage entertainment and cruise in. History
curious about what life was like on the Illinois River is all around you at The Coffee Hub which is located on
Valley 12,000 years ago? Head over to Dickson the main floor of a building that is 100 years old. Enjoy
Mounds Museum which is a branch of the Illinois locally roasted coffee with homemade treats, ice cream
State Museum and a National Historic Site. Miles of from Uncle Bob’s in Eureka and check out the local art
country trails can be hiked in Lewistown and then that lines the wall. Open seven days a week, there is
topped off with the perfect vintage at Native Trails plenty of time to visit, relax and enjoy a cup of coffee
Winery. Finish your stay in Fulton County at The while visiting Marshall County.
Canton Harvester Inn which is a four-story luxury
boutique hotel.w

Marshall County

Located directly north of Peoria County is
a county that is full of rich Illinois history but is
quickly evolving to rival the amenities of big cities.
In the heart of Marshall County is Lacon, a thriving


mason county Woodford County

Calling all outdoor lovers! Mason County is Woodford County is the largest producer of organic
an outdoor lover’s haven. Chautauqua National farming in the state of Illinois! While these delicious fruits
Wildlife Refuge in Havana, one of four Wildlife and veggies are sold throughout the country, you can
refuges in the state of Illinois, is managed by the pick through the freshest batches at our local farmer’s
United States Fish and Wildlife Services and is also markets. Due to higher elevation and flat plains of farm
ADA accessible. Discover historic Havana where land, locals claim Woodford county is home to the most
you can spend the day shopping local boutiques, a beautiful sunsets in the area. You can catch one of those
beautiful riverfront park and historic architecture. sunsets at Metamora Fields Golf Club. Metamora Fields,
an exclusively public facility, offers a challenging yet
Stark County playable experience for golfers of all levels. In the mood
for something sweet after your round of golf? Uncle
On your way out of Peoria County, you’ll run Bob’s Homemade Ice Cream opened in July 1980 at the
across Tanner’s Orchard, located in Speer on the Heart of Illinois Fair and now has a permanent location
border of Peoria and Stark Counties. Since 1947, four in Eureka. Uncle Bob’s works with local dairies, bakeries
generations of the Tanner family have welcomed and suppliers to ensure their product is fresh and
people from all over to an amazing farm experience. homemade, plus you can even buy quarts of your favorite
This 80-acre farm has become a family destination flavors at local grocery stores! Also nestled in Eureka is
with a bakery serving noon lunches, a large country President Ronald Reagan’s alma mater, Eureka College.
farm market with the best apple cider donuts you This liberal arts and science institution is affiliated with
will ever taste, pick your own apples and pumpkins, the Christian Church and offers an intimate college
a corn maze and the Back 40 Fun Acres with experience. Located on campus is The Ronald Reagan
farm animals. Farther north in Wyoming sits the Museum and Peace Garden in honor of the United
beautifully restored Paramount Theater. Originally States 40th President. The museum collection houses
opened in 1934, this theater has closed and over 10,000 items from President Reagan’s Eureka
reopened multiple times through its history. Now, this College student days, movie and TV career, governorship
old school theatre hosts events year-round and is a of California and his two terms as president.
performance venue bringing culture alive to Stark
County. Toulon is where Stark County’s Courthouse
and Jail is located, and it is the oldest operating
courthouse in the state of Illinois. Built back in 1857,
the courthouse has been renovated throughout the
years but the original structure remains the same.

Emiquon Preserve

Voyager Canoe Experience

[Register for paddling opportunities
at www.Illinois]

Metamora Fields Golf Club 13


Come. Relax. Enjoy.


APR 18-19 JULY 11 JULY 11 NOV 28 JUNE-SEPT SEPT 16-19


Whether you are looking to grab a quick bite or seeking the ambiance
of an upscale eatery, the Peoria Area has plenty of mouth-watering,
one of a kind dining experiences.

16 17

Photo credit: Shelby PhotographyQ+A with

After spending years opening and
running other people’s restaurants Travis
Mohlenbrink decided it was his turn to get
into the hospitality business. In 2005, he
opened a part-time catering business in
Peoria. Fifteen years later, Mohlenbrink has
taken that small catering company, now
known as Cracked Pepper, and has turned
it into the corporation known as Spice
Hospitality, which consists of six restaurant
locations, a brewery, a catering company
and an event center all located right here in
the heart of Illinois.

Q: Cracked Pepper opened in 2005 with

great success, how would you say your
perspective has changed since then?

A: When I first started catering, I had

been working in the restaurant industry
for years leading up to starting my own
catering company. There’s a reason I
didn’t go from working in the restaurant
world to opening my own restaurant. I
really wanted to start something that
I could do part-time while keeping a
full-time job and let it grow into a full-
time job. There was no way I could
open a restaurant while I was running
other people’s restaurants. I was
District Partner for a company called
Restaurants America and started doing
catering on the side. I would travel a lot,
be gone for seven days then home for
three to four days. It allowed me to work
with a couple of part time people and
train them how I wanted this business to
go. Lunches grew into breakfasts, which
grew into a dinner party on a Wednesday
night. Then that grew into Saturday
afternoon parties, baby and bridal


showers. The first time we were I am here today. I could open saw somebody who was trying to
asked to do someone’s wedding, restaurants in bigger markets do something a little bit different.
I knew at that point I needed to where I may have a better chance When I see somebody doing
get a full-time chef involved. I had of succeeding, but the reason something different and then they
quit my job at that point and was why I continue to do things here do another thing different that
full-time into my own businesses, is because the people of this area adds something unique to the
it just sort of evolved from small have been phenomenal to me area, that’s who I want to support
catering into bigger events and and my vision. Not just for me because I want to see what they
exclusive catering at golf courses. personally or the team I am lucky do next. The people of central
Catering then turned into the to work with on a daily basis, but Illinois are what keep me here and
bakery location on Adams Street, they have been so supportive of what keeps me wanting to get up
which then became a sitting area something a little more unique and do what I do every day.
style bakery/café. And then came and places off the beaten path.
my first full restaurant, Salt. Sugar, for example, had one lane Q: Each of your restaurants
of finished road when we opened
Q: What makes Peoria special and the other lane was dirt for has such an individual style,
months and it was still packed personality and direction. Where
to you? every day we were open and do you gather your inspiration
continues to be today. People from?
A: The people of Peoria and believed in me and I think they
A: Traveling for sure. I always
central Illinois are the reason
kept in the back of my head what
Sugar Wood-Fired Bistro I saw from places I traveled years
& Gourmet Treats ago, menu items and how they
presented a dish or something
Shown here: Turkey Club Sandwich Pizza unique they did with the back bar.
Some things I’ve seen, and maybe
I’m wrong, but I just know, yes
that will work in Peoria. Then I see
other things I love and think they
are fantastic, but I know will not
work in Peoria. I know when I can
push the envelope a little bit here
and there to find what works and
when to draw it back.

Q: What role do you think

that dining plays in a traveler’s
experience of a city?

A: Quite honestly, I think dining is

one of the most important things
you can experience in a city.
When you have a great dining
experience, it can completely
change the way you look at
that town. When I rank cities, I
rank them based on which place 19

Industry Brewing Co. has the best restaurants. One of
the common things we hear from
Shown here: Fried Grilled Cheese people that are from out of town,
with Tomato Basil Soup is that they are blown away by
some of the places Peoria has. We
Cracked Pepper Cafe have so many unique, individually
owned restaurants in the area.
Shown here: Portobello Panini We are extremely lucky to have all
these different style restaurants.
20 When people leave here, they can’t
say they didn’t have a lot of great
choices to go out and dine at.

Q: Do you have any future plans to

expand Spice further?

A: Right now, I’ve started a

consulting business and I’m currently
working with three clients. The next
few years for me will be focused on
the brewing business, it’s taking off
like wildfire. Between onsite at the
brewery and offsite beer sales, we
have doubled our business from
2018 to 2019. It was completely
unexpected, so now it’s handling
that growth at that rate. We have
expanded the beer garden at
Industry Brewing to meet demand
and we will be undergoing a big
menu change at Thyme and some
other little things at the other
locations. But really perfecting
what we do, and consulting for new
restaurant owners so I can work my
creative brain of menu development
and not worrying about the
operational side of things.

Q: Opening Industry Brewing was

a big step for you, how has that
process been so far?

A: It was. 2018 for my restaurants

was a down year but we bounced
back in 2019. There were
announcements of changes in the

area in 2017 and a lot of people dthiestcaolevSeorf itewso
lost their jobs and we felt that in
my restaurants. I’m devoted to Whiskey meets Mary...
Peoria, I’m here. This is where I do
my thing and will continue to do Between 1837 and 1919, Peoria was home to over
my thing. But when the opportunity 24 breweries and 73 distilleries, making it known as the
came up to purchase the assets and Whiskey Capital of the World. So many chose the area due
the building of the former Peoria to its convenient location on the river and ever growing
Brewing Company, I really looked means of transportation which supplied plentiful grains,
at it as opportunity to do business abundant spring water and various fuel resources.
outside of Peoria and get a product
out that I can control the quality Skip ahead to the early 1940s. Mary Hunt is working for
and placement. We are now able the Department of Agriculture’s Research Lab in Peoria, IL.
to produce enough beer to go into She was tasked with shopping for moldy foods, in hopes
the Champaign market. We are of finding a strain that could be used to mass-produce
currently in the Quad Cities, Peoria penicillin.
and Bloomington markets.
A cantaloupe became the winning item that provided the
Cayenne Restaurant fungus Penicillium Chrysogenum, which yielded 200x’s the
amount of penicillin as the previous species discovered by
Shown here: Smoked Salmon Taco Alexander Fleming in the 1920s. After being enhanced with
mutation causing x-rays and filtration, the species yielded
1,000x’s the amount of penicillin.

Mass quantities of Penicillin began being produced,
saving the lives of many toward the end of WWII. That
lowly, moldy cantaloupe provided a substance that would
transform modern medicine. All strains of penicillin today
are descendants from that 1943 mold.

Discover Peoria has formulated a drink to honor these
two stories from our historical past. We’ve put it to

the test - both whiskey and non-whiskey drinkers have
given it a thumbs up! Cheers!


• 2 oz of American Bourbon/Whiskey
• ½ oz of Hiram Walker Ginger Liqueur
• ½ oz of Lemon Sweet & Sour
• ½ oz of Honey
• 1 Squeeze of Lemon
• Lemon & Cantaloupe chunks

1. Add whiskey, ginger liqueur, sweet & sour, honey and lemon
into a shaker and shake until the honey blends.

2. Pour into a rocks glass over fresh ice.

3. Garnish with a skewer of lemon and cantaloupe pieces. 21


Peoria may be the Whiskey City, but it’s also a great place for a beer!
While they all offer that tasty, sudsy brew, each brewery has its own
unique personality. Check out these beloved breweries and take a
growler home with you. And don’t forget, drink responsibly.


Gather round the campfire, the origin MICROBREWERY
Owned by Peoria’s successful Spice story of Bearded Owl Brewery is best
Hospitality, Industry Brewing offers told illuminated by a crackling flame AND EATERY
a unique twist on the usual classics. in the woods. While taking an evening
Wash down your pretzel and beer hike with his son Jimmy on a camping Located inside a renovated and historic
cheese with the Kolsch style - Happy trip, Nick Babcock’s attempts at giving church, Obed and Isaac’s opened its
Hour. Industry Brewing is the place to young Jimmy a scare came back to bite second location in the
grab your co-workers for a beer after a him, or better yet, scratch him. Upon heart of Illinois in 2016. The Conn
long week. Or enjoy the warm summer entering an old, abandoned barn, Nick Hospitality Group Inc. continued
nights with live entertainment in the discovered he was not alone inside their combination of historic
beer garden. Whatever your tastes when he saw the orange eyes of a architecture, delicious food and
or preferences, Industry Brewing has horned owl roosting. Jimmy, reluctantly great beer from their first location
something for everyone. following his dad inside, was stunned in Springfield, IL and found success
by the giant bird. As the owl took flight, in Peoria. The atmosphere inside is
Fun fact: Embrace your inner both Nick and Jimmy hit the ground to unlike any other restaurant in town,
lumberjack and try their axe throwing! avoid its large talons. with its stained-glass windows, vaulted
ceilings and Masonic design elements
We recommend: Fun fact: Nick’s great uncle Lewis (be sure to check out the bathrooms).
“Got Room?” The name says it all with worked for Peoria’s Gipps Brewing Enjoy a spring day outside on the Bocce
this Peanut Butter Nitro Stout. Company before taking up employment Ball patio with two bocce courts, bags,
at a local speak-easy during DAGz games and fire pits.
RHODELL Prohibition.
BREWERY Fun fact: Bring along your K-9 pals, the
We recommend: patio at Obed & Isaac’s is dog friendly!
A Peoria brewery tour isn’t complete Will-O’-the-Wisp; a Farmhouse ale
without visiting the granddaddy of with basil We recommend:
them all, Rhodell Brewery. Since Peoria Skyline IPA
opening its doors in 1998, Rhodell’s
started with three beers on tap. Now
offering 13 beers that rotate regularly,
this brewery prioritizes small batch
flavor to bring guests
the best in ales,
lagers, stouts and

Fun fact: Rhodell
Brewery offers
patrons the option
to brew their own
beer, talk to your
bartender to learn

We recommend:
Prairie Walker
Pale Ale 23

24 25

Sweet 7

Want to end the day on a sweet note or need that
mid-day sugar rush? No matter which city you are
exploring in the Peoria area, you are never far from
a local bakery to satisfy your sweet tooth.

1. El Gordo Mexican Bakery of cheesecake. Triple Dipple’s has 6. Carl’s Bakery & Restaurant
grown to include other types of
(Peoria) yummy treats. Can’t make it out (East Peoria)
to Chillicothe? Don’t worry Triple
Though newly opened, Jorge and Dipple loves to take their treats on Have you ever been driving by
his staff have quickly become one the road and can often be found East Peoria and wondered about
of Peoria’s hidden gems. With an at the downtown Peoria Riverfront the giant rooster statue on the
entire wall full of Mexican sweet Market during the summer months. side of the road? That giant
breads, donuts, rolls, muffins and rooster belongs to family-owned
pastries you can’t just have one. 4. Sucré Sweets and Socials and operated, Carl’s Bakery &
Baked fresh daily in their open- Restaurant. There is nothing like
air kitchen, El Gordo only uses (Morton) biting into the warm and soft
the freshest ingredients so when homemade donuts. The classic
you take a bite you can taste the Inspired by a big city ice cream glazed donut
tradition! shop, Sucré will entice you with is a must-try
their nostalgic flair and sweet with the apple
2. Trefzger’s Bakery treats. Owned and operated by fritters as a
local Mortonites, you will fall in close second.
(Peoria Heights) love with the high ceilings, airy Make sure you
open concept and the signature get there early
Established in 1861, Trefzger’s is pink and green accents that though! Central
Central Illinois’ oldest bakery and make for perfect backdrops for Illinois loves
is located in the heart of Peoria your Instagram post. From the these donuts
Heights. For 132 years the bakery funky milkshakes, edible cookie and they run out
has been passed down through dough, candy by the pound, and quickly and when
the hands of the Trefzger family. everything in between, there is they are gone for
Now on its fourth location in a something to satisfy everyone’s the day, they
restored building that is about as sweet tooth. are gone!
old as the bakery itself, Trefzger’s
has become a household name in 5. LeBakery on the Square 7. Spudnut Donuts
the Central Illinois area. Whether
it’s the amazing thumbprint (Washington) (Pekin)
cookies or the fresh sticky buns,
this is a can’t miss location. Nestled between local boutiques Tucked in the heart of downtown
and restaurants on the historic Pekin is everything but your
3. Triple Dipple’s Treats & Washington Square you can average donut. Unlike regular
Delicacies (Chillicothe) find cases filled to the brim with donuts, Spudnut acquired its name
ricotta-filled cannoli’s, hand for using potato flour in their donut
Are you tired of the same old wrapped cream horns, 20 plus mixture instead of regular flour.
boring cookies and pastries you kinds of breads, and hand- The cinnamon sugar twist donuts
can find at every bakery across decorated cakes. This sweet will have your taste buds dancing
the country? Then you must stop tooth’s dream is called LeBakery all day long. Donut sleep-in on
by Triple Dipple’s in Chillicothe and has been a go-to spot for the this local favorite because only a
where they specialize in all thing’s past 35 years in Central Illinois. limited number of fresh donuts are
cheesecake! Each one is made They are also proudly serving made every morning and make
entirely from scratch and if you like out of two locations. LeBakery’s sure to bring cash because they
sweet potatoes, then you have to sister store is located in The Metro only accept cash or checks.
try the Sweet Tater Cheesecake, Center in Peoria where you can
it will be your new favorite kind find all the same delicious treats.



Discover the locally owned coffee
hot-spots that our locals love.

[CxT] Roasting Company

Established in 2016, ‘Coffee by Tristan’

has quickly become a Peoria favorite.

Using the “pour over” method Tristan

3 learned in South America,
[CxT] now has three
12 locations in Peoria.

The original Main

Street location

is where

Tristan roasts

all of [CxT]’s

coffee beans Comedian
from several Tom Green
different enjoying [CxT]
countries and

@brileyspencer also sells locally

made items like

candles and jewelry.

Zion Coffee Co.

Besides offering delicious coffee from
small growers in Central America, Zion
also offers cocktails, wines, beer, local
artisan foods, wholesale coffee and Zion
University. Zion U offers educational
opportunities around coffee, food and

The Spot Coffee

Using [CxT]’s locally roasted beans, The
Spot Coffee originally started in a tiny
blue vintage camper as a mobile café
in 2016. In 2018, The Spot opened its
permanent location in North Peoria
where they still use [CxT]’s beans and
make all of their syrups in house with
natural ingredients. The Spot also
features artisan goods from Central
Illinois stores.

thirty-thirty Coffee Co.

thirty-thirty offers a welcoming
environment for people to work, study,
catch up with friends, or just enjoy a
good cup of joe. 27

When it comes to unique venues at which to hold your wedding or special event, Peoria
and the surrounding area is certainly not lacking. From venues steeped in local history to
the new and chic, there is something to fit everyone’s taste.

Trailside Event Center TRAILSIDE EVENT CENTER covered. Housed in two former
Looking for some place hip, warehouse buildings it is
Venue Chisca but steeped in central Illinois’ the only venue in downtown
rich history? Trailside is the Peoria to offer 17,000 square
right choice for you. The feet of green space. Choose
building, once home to a from three distinct banquet
Sylph Bicycle factory, was rooms. The Ballroom, which
refurbished in 2016 to house is a mix of sleek clean lines
Trefzger’s Bakery while the and southern industrial style.
upstairs became home to the The Memphis room, with
Trailside Event Center. Owners its vintage southern charm
Jeff and Martha Huebner and airy atmosphere or The
worked with intention to Quarter with its ample green
preserve as many of the space. Each room seats
building’s original fixtures as between 350 and 600 guests,
possible from the beams to but if you are looking for
the exposed brick. something smaller they also
Trailside can comfortably have a mini meeting room
seat up 250 guests with which is great for baby or
room for a dance floor and bridal showers.
cocktail bar. And bonus, since
Trefzger’s Bakery is located THE PERE MARQUETTE
just downstairs they provide HOTEL
the cake! There is something about
attending an event in a fancy
VENUE CHISCA hotel that just makes you’re
Looking for some Southern guests feel a little extra.
industrial charm at your next Especially a hotel like the Pere
event? Venue Chisca, which Marquette. Opened in 1927,
opened in 2018, has you and heavily influenced by

28 Photo credit: Courtney Dueppengiesser Photographer



Mackinaw Valley Vineyard TOP 3 VINEYARDS
Photo credit: Mawi Photography Wildlife Prairie Park
Mackinaw Valley Vineyard
the east coast luxury WILDLIFE PRAIRIE wildflowers and prairie Twenty-five miles outside of Peoria
hotels of the day, the PARK grass surround you. you’ll find Mackinaw Valley Vineyard.
Pere Marquette is full of A fox in your wedding If you’re looking for a Having been in the business for over
vintage charm and style. photos? An owl at your unique venue, Wildlife seventeen years Mackinaw Valley
With over seven event birthday party? Holding Prairie Park is the place has seen it’s fair share of weddings
rooms and the capacity your next big event at you want. Nowhere else and has made each one special.
to seat up to 650 guests Wildlife Prairie Park in Peoria gives so many The vineyard is situated on a glacial
the hotel is perfect for means your guests will location choices or offers Moraine, a natural high point, giving
meetings, parties and be talking about it for such unique touches. your guests an amazing thirty-mile
weddings. And if you’re years to come. Imagine Wildlife Prairie Park has view of the valley.
thinking of throwing having your wedding multiple venue options
a Roaring Twenties while overlooking bison within the park for Kickapoo Creek Winery
themed party why even roaming in the open both your ceremony With inside and outside options
look anywhere else? prairie below or while and reception. for both ceremony and reception,
you can set your mind at ease
with Kickapoo Creek Winery. Their
property includes picturesque views
for the perfect outdoor ceremony, an
outdoor patio and pergola, as well
as an elegant ballroom with custom
built oak bar and built-in dance floor.

Big Horse Vineyards

A little less than an hour drive
from Peoria you can find Big Horse
Vineyards, a beautiful vineyard
nestled into a working draft horse
farm. The Archdale family has
spent years showing draft horses
competitively and now they are
offering their beautiful horses
and grounds for use during your
wedding. Imagine arriving to your
ceremony in a horse drawn carriage
with perfect vineyard views. 29


Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or just looking for a scenic afternoon
stroll, the Peoria Area offers a very diverse selection of outdoor experiences.

30 31

HOW WE roll

Photo credit: Bryce Rinkenberger

Farmdale Reservoir


PEORIA AREA management an idea of what kind they’ve averaged more than two
MOUNTAIN BIKING of trails were desirable to mountain thousand hours of work annually
CLUB LOOKS TO bikers, but also show them that and maintained over one hundred
MAKE PEORIA A mountain bikers were willing to put miles of trails.
MOUNTAIN BIKING in the work to create and maintain
DESTINATION those trails. Eventually, the group “’s activities like
won the trust of park management hiking, mountain biking
In the late nineties a debate and was able to not only keep ”and trail running, that
started between mountain bikers the existing trails open, but start make our area unique...
and park management of Jubilee building new ones as well.
and Reservoir Parks here in Peoria. Over the past two decades “PAMBA is an important group
“Rouge” trails were springing up PAMBA has worked with multiple to have in the area,” says Jennifer
throughout both parks without the park districts throughout the Peoria Horstmann, a member since 2012,
knowledge of park management, area to build and maintain trails for “because it’s activities like hiking,
threatening the closure of all trails the enjoyment of the group and the mountain biking and trail running,
to mountain bikers. Enter PAMBA, rest of the community. “We want that make our area unique and give
the Peoria Area Mountain Biking to promote a healthy and relatively our community something different
Association. The group was formed safe hobby,” says current PAMBA to do and explore.” In fact, the
in the spring of 2000 to represent president Michael Robertson, who group hosts monthly beginner and
mountain bikers at meetings began mountain biking just seven family rides for those wanting to get
with park management. years ago when his children became involved in mountain biking. The
They wanted to not only give the interested in the sport. Throughout rides are low risk and are meant to
the year PAMBA leaders and help introduce the community to the
members dedicate countless hours sport.
to keeping trails maintained and But PAMBA wants to go further
building new ones. In fact, since than just getting the Peoria area
the group’s founding in mid 2000 community involved in mountain

Wildlife Prairie Park 33

biking. They want to make Peoria Farmdale Reservoir
a mountain biking destination.
“What a lot of people do not Home to Illinois State Championship Races
know about the Peoria area is
that there are some really great
single track trails here. We have
Jubilee, Wildlife Prairie Park, Kinsey,
Farmdale, Black Partridge, Dirksen,
and Independence Park,” says
Horstmann. President Michael
Robertson says he wants other
mountain bikers from across the
country to see these trails and think
of Peoria as a destination. “It will
help people see what else Peoria
has to offer,” he says, referring to
Peoria’s many breweries, restaurants
and tourist attritions. “We get
nothing from that. We just want to
see people enjoying Peoria. We want
them to see it’s worth coming here.”
Both Robertson and Horstmann
agree that one of the things that
makes PAMBA so great is not
just the trails and activities, it’s
the people. “You get to know
everyone,” says Robertson. And
when Horstmann thinks of PAMBA
she thinks of times when she’ll be
out riding or on a trail run and
run into other PAMBA members.
Usually they’ll all end up socializing
in the parking lot afterward. It’s not
uncommon for Horstmann to get
a group text from other members
asking, “Want to go mountain biking
after work?”

PAMBA is more than
just mountain biking. It’s

“ about community.
” PAMBA is more than just

mountain biking. It’s about
community. It’s about bringing
people together to enjoy a hobby,
enjoy the parks that Peoria has to
offer, and hopefully get others to
notice how great Peoria is too. If
you’re interested in checking out
what PAMBA has to offer, attend one
of their membership meetings or join
one of the monthly beginner rides.

All information can be found on their
website or
on their Facebook page, Peoria Area
Mountain Bike Association.


top hiking trails



With over seven miles of trails it’s easy to spend an entire day at Forest
Park Nature Preserve. They also offer classes for adults and children
throughout the year, covering all kinds of topics from bats to bugs. They
even offer guided hiking tours.



Truly a hidden gem in West Peoria, Rocky Glen is a great place to hike
and see unique sandstone rock formations, including the popular “bowl”
or “Horseshoe Bottoms.” Plenty of local lore and stories swirl around
this historic place to explore near Kickapoo Creek. Often
referred to as a smaller Starved Rock, don’t forget to
check out the small waterfalls along the cliffs.


With 44 miles of marked trails and 7,200

acres of forest, Sand Ridge features

woodlands, open fields and unique sand

prairies to explore. The forest is perfect

for hikers, backpackers, horseback

riders and even snowmobilers. Located

about 45 minutes south of downtown

Peoria, the trails are matched perfectly

with a day trip to explore nearby historic ROCKY

Havanna and the Emiquon National GLEN PARK
Wildlife Refuge.


A beautiful sanctuary for hiking the steep river bluff hills

of central Illinois. The trail connects four Peoria area parks Camp

Wokanda, Robinson Park, Green Valley Camp, and Detweiller Park. It’s

the perfect way to get to know lots of area parks. 35




Photo Credit: Beau Commanday The Big Picture Initiative was born of bureaucratic

red tape. During an attempt to attain a city permit 37
to paint a mural on a building in the Warehouse
District, Doug and Eileen Leunig discovered a historical
landmark status prohibited painting on the actual
building. So instead, the artist painted onto vinyl and
by the grace of an ordinance change, mounted the
mural to the building instead. And thus, the Big Picture
Initiative was born.
Former employees of Caterpillar, Doug and
Eileen are lifelong artists. Doug spent 30 years
traveling the world as a photographer for Caterpillar.
Following their shared passion to bring the arts to
their community and specifically to include children
in creation, the Leunigs co-founded the Big Picture

“Initiative in 2018.

Murals show visible pride in
a community... a demonstration

”of how much we care about
where we are...

With a combined love of Peoria, and the desire to
get rid of “all the beige” in the region, the Leunigs,
along with the Big Picture Board of Directors,
aim to prove why murals and the arts are vital
to communities. “Murals show visible pride in a
community, if a city cares enough to put art on the
outside of buildings, we are proud of where we live.
This is a demonstration of how much we care about
where we are.”
Inspired by the Festival Mural in Montreal, the
Leunigs decided to bring their own version of a mural
street fair to Peoria. By mounting the murals to the
sides of buildings, they saw a perfect opportunity
to change the murals out on an annual basis. The
question became, how does this come to fruition?
It would take a village of artists, volunteers and
performers that create, perform, set up, tear down and
all with a smile on their faces.
“The Big Picture Initiative is about changing the
face of Peoria,” said Mark Misselhorn, Big Picture
Board member. “Our volunteer organization works to
enhance community pride and enhance the quality
of life and quality of place through four key areas:
empowering young people through exposure to
the arts; hosting annual interactive street and film
festivals; enhancing vibrancy and interest through
large scale public art; and collaborating with other

community organizations and community mural creation, costume Picture Initiative Board of Directors
businesses to make this all happen.” contests, voter registration and is Nikki Romain, Co-Founder and
To be exact, it takes 30 core team much more. Executive Director of ART Inc. “I
members and over 100 volunteers At its core, the Big Picture am thrilled to serve on the board of
to make this festival happen. The Initiative is a charitable spirit that Big Picture. The vision and purpose
activities include, but are not limited sees the arts as a way to give to are in alignment with my personal
to, performance stages, a donation those less fortunate and a strong passion for the arts and Peoria. The
station, sculpture workstations, desire for collaboration. It’s no partnership between Big Picture
Tie-Dye shirt making, chalk art, secret that the arts in Peoria have and ART Inc. with our film class
breakdancing performances, many entities. Also, on the Big is already a big hit with the teens
in our community. The class gives
them the opportunity to work in
groups to produce short films while
learning problem solving skills,
gaining confidence, and learning
from professionals in the field.”
The Big Picture Initiative has also
expanded into the cinematic arts.
The Big Picture Film Festival is an
interactive, walkable film festival. As
a three-day event, filmmakers are
invited to explore the city of Peoria
through various events hosted by
the festival.
With all that the Big Picture
Initiative and the Leunigs have
happening, what do they see for the
Eileen explains, “The long-range
vision which we have already started
to implement with students is to
be able to go into neighborhoods,
like in the first district, and do
community art projects. Have
brainstorming sessions with the
residents to find out what they feel


their neighborhood represents. Then, ARTS Visit to learn
commission an artist to create a more about other art events such
mural that is “paint by numbers” ABOUND as First Fridays, where artists
so that residents can help in the of all media open their studios
creation of the mural.” for show, demonstrations and
After traveling the world, what public participation. Also, don’t
keeps them rooted in Peoria? miss the nationally recognized
58th Annual Peoria Fine Art Fair
“ I traveled the world September 26-27, 2020!
a couple times
around, but I always
loved getting back
home to Peoria...

” “I traveled the world a couple

times around, but I always loved
getting back home to Peoria to
my friends, family and community.
I don’t know exactly what makes
Peoria special, but when you
consider that Richard Pryor and
Betty Friedan changed the world
with their influence or the fact that
the taxes from alcohol paid to help
the North win the Civil War, but I
think it’s in the water,” says Doug.
And if the smallest stone makes
a ripple in the water, the Leunigs
and the Big Picture Initiative are
making a splash.

To learn more about the Big Picture J. DRAPER GLASS
Initiative and how you can get
involved, visit 39

You’re bound to find something each member of the
family enjoys. We guarantee it.

40 41

Learn Play

Visit the Peoria Riverfront Museum to explore
permanent collections, rotating exhibitions and Step into a world of imagination at the Peoria
special programs that connect art and science with Playhouse Children’s Museum. The Playhouse
history and human achievement. Check out the encourages children to become explorers and
Dome Planetarium to transport yourself to a far-off creators of the world, promoting play through
galaxy or just see the stars above your head. The exhibits and special programming. Hands-on
giant screen theater houses a 52-by-70-foot screen exhibits such as “Family Farm” and “By Your River,
that can show you the world in a BIG way! Gently Flowing, Illinois” draw on Peoria and Central
Illinois, celebrating the past, present and future of
Learn about Caterpillar’s construction history, from
the Panama Canal to the San Francisco cable car Head to West Peoria for some family thrills at
system, at the Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Kartville. Offering Go-Karts, bumper boats, batting
Center. Eight exhibit galleries, hands-on equipment cages, mini golf and dune buggies, this fun outdoor
simulator and over 50 videos and 800 photographs attraction will entertain the entire family.
will awaken your curiosity. Climb aboard a motor
grader or excavator, design your own CAT machine
or hop into a simulation to learn what it feels like
to operate heavy machinery. No matter the activity,
put yourself in the driver’s seat at the Caterpillar
Visitors Center.


Experience the vintage charm of the Peoria Area at
Wheels O’ Time Museum. With exhibits including
40 historic cars, the Rock Island Steam locomotive,
Caterpillar tractors, antique washing machines,
model airplanes and more interactive displays,
appreciate the eclectic history of our region.


Make your visit to Pekin a splash at the
DragonLand Water Park. Home to three acres of See
park land, you can soak up the sun in a sand-filled
beach area and patio while the kids twist and SPIRIT OF PEORIA
turn on the waterslides. Not feeling the water?
No worries, DragonLand is home to a sand beach Propelled from its bright red 21’ diameter
volleyball court and a full concession stand. paddlewheel, this historic vessel journeys along the
Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, from Starved Rock,
FIRST ASCENT PEORIA Illinois to St. Louis, MO. Looking to stick around the
Peoria Area? The Spirit of Peoria also has day trips
Whether you’re new to climbing or you’ve been and special themed cruises throughout their season.
climbing for years, First Ascent provides world-class
terrain for all ability levels with expert climbing PEORIA ZOO
instruction for all ages. Additionally, take advantage
of their dedicated yoga studio and state-of-the- Peoria Zoo is an interactive environment complete
art fitness equipment - all located under the same with a diverse set of animals. With seven unique
20,000 square foot facility! exhibits, there’s no shortage of fascinating friends
to meet like lions and tigers and meerkats (oh
my!). Explore the African grasslands and come eye
to eye with emus and wallabies at the Australia
Walk-About. Take the family and make it a day to


Enclosed within six acres of park area, Fon Du Lac
Farm Park offers a blast from the past with a 1920’s
farm life setting. Bring your kids and enjoy spending
the day participating in hands-on activities from
live farm animal attractions to a country kitchen
museum and park. 43



“Will it Play in Peoria” 1 PEORIA CHIEFS
might be an old vaudeville
saying, but today it is as The Class A Affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, the Chiefs
much about our thriving carry on the long tradition of baseball in the Whiskey City.
sports scene as it is about Back in 1895 the club was named the Distillers thanks to
our region’s nightlife. Here our whiskey heritage. Today, the Chiefs draw thousands of
are our 5 ways to get fans each night to Dozer Park in Peoria’s trendy Warehouse
your adrenaline pumping District. Catch the next generation of baseball stars (Albert
during your stay. Pujols, Javy Baez, and Josh Donaldson are just a few that
once called Peoria home) and say, “I saw them in Peoria!”

Pictured above is Kolton Wong, 2nd Basemen for MLB’s St. Louis
Cardinals rehabing with the Peoria Chiefs


Photo Credit: Ron Johnson 2 PEORIA RIVERMEN
Photo Credit: David Zalaznik
Peoria officially became a hockey town back in the early
1980s when the Rivermen first started playing games
at the Peoria Civic Center. Members of the Southern
Professional Hockey League since 2013, the Rivermen
have been a mainstay of the region with plenty of on-ice
action to keep the crowds coming back for more.

Pictured is Alec Hagaman, Team Captain and Peoria, IL native


When basketball lovers talk about storied college hoops
programs, Bradley Braves basketball has been in the
mix since the program began in 1902. The Braves are no
strangers to both the NCAA Tournament and the NIT and
draw large crowds throughout the season to Carver Arena
at the Peoria Civic Center as they battle top programs in the
Missouri Valley Conference.

Pictured is Antonio Thomas, Freshman Guard 2019-2020 Roster


The region’s brand new spectator experience, Peoria City Soccer, will call
Bradley University’s Shea Stadium home starting in 2020. As a member
of the United Soccer League, the pre-professional team will bring a new
level of excitement to an already rich soccer community in Peoria. “We
are extremely excited to have elite pre-professional soccer in Peoria this
summer as a member of League Two,” said Bradley University Men’s
Head Soccer Coach Jim DeRose, who is involved with the club. “We look
forward to featuring some of the best talent from around the country,
and engaging fans and non-profits to make Peoria and Shea Stadium a
top local soccer destination.”


Since 1931, PMC, has been a fixture in flat track
racing. As host of the famous Peoria TT where the
Grand National Champion is crowned each summer,
fans and racers from throughout the nation gather at
this famous dirt track to see high speed action at an
elite level. 45


Louisville Slugger Sports Complex

[email protected] 12 Fully-Synthetic Turf Fields Full Service Bar + Grille
125,000 sf Slugger Dome Merchandise Team Store
Directional Field Lighting Custom Bat Engraving
LIVE-Streaming To All Fields HitTrax Unit For Training
Free Wireless Internet Large, Free Parking Lot(s)
Concessions Near All Fields 47

Photo Credit: Phierce Photo/Keith Griner TOP 10 1. SUMMER CAMP

FESTIVALS Every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands
you don’t flock to Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe for this
music festival. Summer Camp has grown from 1,000
want to miss attendees in 2001 to more than 20,000 attendees in
2019. Don’t miss yearly favorites Moe. and Umphrey’s
1 McGee along with much, much more.
Insider tip: Plan for any type of weather! Mother Nature
5 always makes things interesting for Summer Campers.


Every Saturday, May through September, Peoria’s
Riverfront becomes an outdoor farmers’ market
featuring local produce, meats, eggs, cheeses, fresh
flowers, baked goods and more. Plus, local art, live
music and demonstrations each week!
Insider tip: Be sure to bring your reusable bags, you
won’t walk away empty handed. Also, pet-friendly!


Washington invites you to the friendliest festival in
the heart of Illinois! Bringing you the best in local live
entertainment and plenty of yummy food and drinks to
go with it. Don’t miss five days of festival fun, community
activities culminating in a thrilling firework show.
Insider tip: Armband vouchers are available before the
festival begins, through the Washington Chamber of
Commerce, for a discounted price.


For over 30 years, the annual Louie Louie parade
brought locals and tourists alike out to the streets
of downtown Peoria armed with Kazoos to belt out
the cherished Animals classic to raise money for the
children of St. Jude. This event has generated over
$300,000 since its inception. In 2019, the parade
became a street party, shutting down Water street to
include bands, food, drink and vendor booths. Don’t
miss this party to kick off the summer and raise money
for a wonderful cause!
Insider tip: BYO-Kazoo and don’t forget your most
colorful Hawaiian shirt.


Don’t miss the largest fireworks display in Illinois!
Red, white and Boom is a “pyromusical”, a blend of
fireworks fired from a barge in the middle of the Illinois
River synchronized to patriotic music.
Insider tip: The show is visible from both sides of the
river AND certain parts of Peoria Heights!


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