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Looking for fun things to do in the Peoria Area? We have you covered. Below you can explore a wide variety of events and activities happening in Peoria, IL.

Exhibit Opening: “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill”

December 19, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
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An exhibition celebrating the paintings of Illinois’ best-known folk artist, Olof Krans, who documented 19th century life in Bishop Hill, is opening to the public Oct. 11 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill” was created in conjunction with the release of a new book on Krans and his work.
The show will feature more than 20 paintings, as well as several items of furniture and artifacts from the Bishop Hill Colony – some of which have never before been displayed in Peoria. Works include portraits of early settlers, views of the colony’s ocean voyage from Sweden, and scenes of early life in Bishop Hill.
Exhibited works come from the museum's permanent collection, a local private collection and the Bishop Hill Museum – which loaned two large-scale paintings including Krans’ famous self-portrait at age 70. The exhibition is curated by Kristan H. McKinsey.
The exhibit celebrates the release of a comprehensive survey – or catalogue raisonné – of Krans' work and his documentation of life in the Bishop Hill Colony. The fully illustrated hardcover book, The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision, 2014, is available for purchase in the museum store.
The book features essays on Krans’ legacy by Chicago art historian, Esther Sparks, and Martha Jane Downey, Superintendent of Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
It was published by Peoria Riverfront Museum and sponsored by Illinois folk art collector, Merle H. Glick, with additional funding from the American Folk Art Society and David Connor. Printing was made possibible by a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suesa Foundation of San Francisco, Calif.

Exhibition opening: “Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art”

December 19, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
309-863-3006
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A new exhibit on the evolution of 20th century American art opens to the public at Peoria Riverfront Museum Sept. 27. “Impressionism into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art,” is a visual journey through the dramatic transformation of American art from the academic realism of the 1880s to the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s.

Presented within the cultural and historical context of the time, the exhibit showcases modern art – mainly paintings, drawings and prints – made in the United States from 1880 to 1950 by American and foreign-born artists. The story focuses on artists working in Chicago, which became the cultural center for the Midwest following Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Accordingly, the exhibit draws from several Illinois art collections, including those of Dr. William H. and Nancy Marshall, Peoria; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago; and Clifford Law Offices P.C., Chicago.

Among the works included in the exhibit are two paintings which have never before been on public display, on loan from the Clifford Law Offices.

Curated by Kristan H. McKinsey, the exhibit also traces the impact on American art of pivotal historical events, including two world wars and the Great Depression, cultural revolutions such as the 1913 Armory Show, the rapid growth of U.S. cities, scientific discoveries and new insight into human psychology.

New York replaced post-WWII Paris as the world’s cultural capital, and the exhibit also examines the dialogue between U.S. and European artists as they experimented with progressive styles and techniques.

A special interactive allows visitors to explore The Armory Show – the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art – the largest group of modern art ever amassed in one location. The show introduced Americans to the avant-garde art of Picasso and Duchamp. It also featured a small number of revolutionary works that shocked visitors and altered the course of modern art in America and Europe.

Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art runs from Sept. 27, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The museum thanks exhibit sponsors Rennie Atterbury, Thomas and Lois Mayer, and Terry Knueppel. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all - connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs. Visit PeoriaRiverfrontMuseum.org.

1. "Manufacturing Traditions" Exhibit

December 19, 2014 - Closed on Sunday's and Holidays
Caterpillar Visitors Center
110 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61629
(309) 675-0606
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The tradition of manufacturing at Caterpillar has stood the test of time for nearly 90 years. Many of the tried and true tools and processes that date back to the 1920s still have a home in the modern factories of the 21st century.

Our newest exhibit features a documentary-style film celebrating two employees each with 65 years of service to Caterpillar, a digital photo album containing more than 60 photos and more than 150 artifacts showcasing Caterpillar’s culture of safety, training, quality, employee recognition -- and the processes that ensure Caterpillar products are the best in the world.

We invite you to take a look at nearly 90 years of manufacturing at Caterpillar as we celebrate the thousands of production workers – the people who create the yellow iron – with our ‘Manufacturing Traditions’ exhibit, now through February 2015.

It's an Old Fashioned Christmas

December 19, 2014 - Evening Performances Doors Open 6:00 P.M. Buffet 6:30 - 7:30 P.M. Show Starts 8:00 P.M. Sunday Brunch Performances Doors Open 12:00 Noon Buffet 12:00 - 1:00 P.M. Show Starts 1:30 P.M.
Conklin's Barn II Dinner Theatre
1451 Timberline Rd.
Goodfield, IL 61742
(309) 965-2545
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We're journeying back to the good old days in an all-new edition of our annual revue of holiday music, comedy and hilarious audience participation that will send your holiday spirit soaring, get your toes tapping and your belly shaking like a bowl full of jelly. Our multi-talented cast will make your spirit bright throughout the whole season! This year's edition takes us "down home" for an old-fashioned and hilarious country Christmas and then takes us back to the WWII era with a USA show for the troops. Our most popular show of the year, seats always fill up quickly, so book early for this perfect outing for family, friends and company parties! A guaranteed good time for all!  Wednesday evenings are added during December. No performance on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve or  Christmas Day.
November 6-December 31, 2014

An American Family Christmas

December 19, 2014 - Dec. 19 & 20 @ 7:30 PM, Dec. 21 @ 2:30 PM
Peoria Area Civic Chorale
360 N. Wilmor Rd
Washington , IL 61571
309-693-6725
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The refrain of I’ll Be Home Christmas takes on special significance this December 19, 20 at 7:30 p.m. and 21 at 2:30 p.m., as Dr. Joseph Henry returns to direct the Peoria Area Civic Chorale’s An American Family Christmas in the Performing Arts Center at Five Points Washington. Come discover the magic that makes An American Family Christmas such a wonderful way to celebrate the Christmas season. Enjoy spectacular arrangements of traditional carols and toe-tapping Christmas spirituals. Reminisce as we perform many of your favorite holiday songs including Breath of Heaven, I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day, Winter Wonderland, Let it Snow, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year, and of course, I’ll Be Home for Christmas. Savor the rich, warm, and luxurious harmonies of Frank La Rocca’s setting of O Magnum Mysterium and enjoy a unique setting of Clement Clark Moore’s classic, ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas. Meet us at Five Points in December as we unwrap and share the gifts of beautiful music! 

ILLINOIS CENTRAL COLLEGE GALLERIES FEATURE DRAWINGS, SCULPTURE AND COLLAGE BY LEN DAVIS

December 19, 2014 - ICC art galleries are Monday through Thursday, from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm and Friday from 9:30 am to noon.
Illinois Central College
1 College Dr.
East Peoria, IL 61635
309-694-5113
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Exhibits featuring drawings, sculpture and collages open on November 19 in two art galleries on ICC’s East Peoria Campus.

A second exhibit features collages by Len Davis and will be on display from November 19 through January 9 in the ICC Performing Arts Center Gallery. Davis grew up in the inner city of West Philadelphia next to Upper Darby, Penn. He was inspired to create his own art after a field trip in high school to see an exhibit by Marc Chagall. Davis attended East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C., where he majored in communication and minored in art. He now exhibits, lectures and conducts workshops across the country. He has rented and sold his work to TV shows such as Parks and Rec, Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and Six Feet Under. He was also selected as one of the Artist Series for GAP Product (Red). One of his pieces is in the Cedar Rapids Museum of Art permanent collection.

            Normal hours of operation of the ICC art galleries are Monday through Thursday, from 9:30 am to 7:30 pm and Friday from 9:30 am to noon. Operation of the galleries may vary due to holidays or the academic schedule of Illinois Central College. For more information, visit ArtsAtICC.com or call 694-5113. 

Tab Benoit Kris Lager Band

December 19, 2014 - Doors: 6:00 PM / Show: 7:00 PM
Limelight Eventplex
8102 N. University St.
Peoria, Il 61615
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Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

December 19, 2014 - 5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday
123 Par 3 Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-676-0303
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OPENS THANKSGIVING NIGHT, NOV. 27, 2014!
RUNS NIGHTLY THROUGH DEC. 31

ADDRESS: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria, IL  61611 (in VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road)
ATTENTION GPS USERS: INPUT ADDRESS 801 SPRINGFIELD ROAD, WHICH IS LINCOLN SCHOOL. THE ENTRANCE TO WINTER WONDERLAND IS ABOUT ONE BLOCK PAST THE SCHOOL.
5-9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday; 5-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday 
All vehicles - $10, except for full-size charter buses which are $150 (cash, debit and credit cards accepted)

The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights' signature event! Folepi's Winter Wonderland features the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted displays.

The Winter Wonderland entrance is off Springfield Road on Par 3 Lane. Tune your vehicle's radio to 107.9 for holiday music to accompany your drive!

The popular ski jumper display is featured in Winter Wonderland along with the Parade of Lights floats, and displays including lighted arches and circus animals, the Western town, Space Land, the Candy Cane Factory,Prehistoric Lane and more!

Lightwire Theater presents A VERY ELECTRIC CHRISTMAS

December 19, 2014 - DOORS OPEN AT 7PM. 8pm Show Time
Jay Goldberg Events and Entertainment
201 SW Jefferson Avenue
Peoria, IL 61602
217.278.7400
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Lightwire Theater’s A Very Electric Christmas follows the story of a young bird and his family as they begin their journey south for the winter.  Dancing toy soldiers, caroling worms and performing poinsettia’s light up the stage in a show that will brighten your holiday season.  Audiences of all ages will treasure this magical and captivating tale of family, friendship and hope set to timeless holiday hits, including Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey and Tchaikovsky.  Lightwire Theater is internationally recognized for their electroluminescent artistry, poignant story-telling and performs each night in complete darkness.

For more info on Lightwire Theater and A Very Electric Christmas, please check out : www.lightwiretheater.com

There's a Christmas Tree in Terminal C!

December 19, 2014 - 7:30pm, Friday, December 12th 2:00pm, Saturday, December 13th 7:30pm, Saturday, December 13th 7:30pm, Wednesday, December 17th 7:30pm, Thursday, December 18th 7:30pm, Friday, December 19th 2:00pm, Saturday, December 20th 7:30pm, Saturday, December 20th
Festival 56
316 S. Main Street
Princeton, IL 61356
(815) 879-5656
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by Dexter Brigham

Directed by Matthew C. Scott

December 12th through December 20th, 2014
Grace Performing Arts Center

On the tenth anniversary of its first production, we are happy to bring back our most popular holiday musical about four strangers stranded in an airport terminal on Christmas eve. Featuring everyone's holiday favorites, including "O Holy Night," "O Christmas Tree," and many, many more!

Individual Show Times & Dates

7:30pm, Friday, December 12th
2:00pm, Saturday, December 13th
7:30pm, Saturday, December 13th
7:30pm, Wednesday, December 17th
7:30pm, Thursday, December 18th
7:30pm, Friday, December 19th
2:00pm, Saturday, December 20th
7:30pm, Saturday, December 20th

Cast Members

Holly - Mariah Thornton
Ivy - Tayloir Pace
Rudy - Kyle Morr
Nick - Kyle Ralston

The Fine Art of Hospitality Exhibit

December 19, 2014 - 01:00PM to 04:00PM
Peoria Historical Society
611 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61602
309-674-1921
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Exhibit will highlight The Fine Art of Hospitality, the elegance of Jean Morron as hostess, exceptional service by her staff, dramatic architecture/design, and unique collection items used for entertaining in a Victorian era home at the Pettengill-Morron House Museum.

Weekly German Dinners and Entertainment at the Lindendhof

December 19, 2014 - 05:00PM to 08:00PM
German-American Central Society
7601 N. Harker Dr.
Peoria, IL 61615
309-691-7484
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The Lindenhof Restaurant is open to the public every Friday evening. Dinners are served from 5-8 pm. Dinners are $12.00 per plate for adult and $6.00 for children. Desserts are also available for $2.

German beers are on draft. We also have an assortment of wine by the glass and the bottle.

Weekly live entertainment from various local artists playing traditional German favorites.

Check our website www.peoriagermans.net or find us on Facebook under The Lindenhof of Peoria to see what is on the weekly menu.

Bar open until Midnight!

Live At The Five Spot

December 19, 2014 - 05:30PM to 07:30PM
309-674-6822
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Live at the Five Spot is the Contemporary Art Center's music event featuring the best regional talent performing jazz, blues and more. It is a smokeless, nightclub atmosphere that is a great way to end a busy week with your friends. While the music fills the building, one can stroll through our three fine art galleries. Consult the calendar to learn what bands will be playing.

You may order food & drink from the Rhythm Kitchen yourself and bring it up or bring your own food and drink. Remember to bring your own plates, silverware and cups. After the performance, go downstairs to enjoy more live music at the Rhythm Kitchen.

If you would like a discount on admission, become a member of the CAC. If you join during Live at the Five Spot, you receive a free pass for two for another night. One of the benefits of membership is to be able to reserve a table. The large rounds are $25 and the conference table area is $50. If you have a large party and you want to be sure to be seated together, this is a good option to consider.

Holiday Shop and Stroll

December 19, 2014 - 06:00PM to 08:30PM
5809 Forest Park Drive
Peoria Heights, IL 61616
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This one-of-a-kind event has become a holiday tradition in Central Illinois. Experience a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries; enjoy live holiday music, storytelling, and caroling; taste hot wassail; view and purchase unique nature-related artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale; and shop for eco-friendly and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store.

Candlelight Walks

December 19, 2014 - 06:00PM to 09:00PM
2520 N. Prospect Rd.
Peoria, IL 61603
309-686-3362
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Continue a holiday tradition...or start a new one! Visit Luthy Botanical Garden’s Poinsettia Show at night and enjoy live performances of holiday music while strolling through a candlelit wonderland.  As our gift to you, admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always appreciated.

A Carpenters’ Christmas

December 19, 2014 - 07:30PM to 12:00PM
Illinois Central College
East Peoria,
(309) 694-5136
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            The Illinois Central College Guest Artists Series presents Lisa Rock in A Carpenters’ Christmas, a holiday tribute to the music of 1970s brother-and-sister pop music duo Karen and Richard Carpenter on Friday, December 19, at 7:30 pm in the ICC Performing Arts Center in East Peoria.

            Considered one of the best vocalists of all time, Karen Carpenter captured the attention of a generation with her unabashedly catchy pop music. The Carpenters’ beautiful, memorable love songs topped the Billboard charts with more than a dozen number one hits. Lisa Rock, lead singer of the tribute band Close to You: The Music of the Carpenters, possesses a four-octave vocal range, allowing her to sing the songs of the Carpenters in their original keys. This keeps the songs genuine and more recognizable for the audience, prompting one reviewer to comment. “When she hits the lower range of her marvelous voice, if you close your eyes, you can see Karen Carpenter’s face.”

            In addition to their pop music, the Karen and Richard Carpenter hosted Christmas variety shows for television and recorded two holiday albums. Rock and her six-piece band keep the Carpenters’ holiday traditions alive and bringing their unforgettable Christmas songs to the stage. Featuring Merry Christmas, Darling and the jazzy Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, A Carpenters’ Christmas is a holiday concert that spreads joy and cheer to all.

            While Karen and Richard Carpenter often kept things simple on stage by performing as just a duo, they had several additional musicians join in to create the full, rich sound heard on their studio albums. To bring audiences that same sound, this show features Lisa Rock on lead vocals with a six-piece backing band.

            The Salvation Army is the highlighted community partner for this ICC Guest Artists Series performance. The community partner program highlights a different, local organization for each Guest Artists Series presentation.

            As it does for all ICC Guest Artists Series events, CityLink provides Park and Ride service from Peoria for the performance. Buses leave Evergreen Square at 7 pm and transport passengers directly to the ICC Performing Arts Center. Buses return to Evergreen Square immediately after the show. The cost is $1 each way with senior citizens 65 years of age or older riding free.

            Tickets for the performance cost $25 for the general public and $15 for students. Tickets may be purchased online in the Tickets area of our website or by calling the Performing Arts Center box office at (309) 694-5136.

Salsa at CAC: A Latin Dance Event

December 19, 2014 - Dance lesson 8:30-9:30pm (SHARP), Open dancing 9:30pm - 12:30am
Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
305 SW Commercial Alley
Peoria, IL 61354
(309 674-6822
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Salsa at the CAC: A Latin Dance Event

1st and 3rd Fridays of each month

Learn the basics of Salsa and other Latin Dances at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria

Dance lesson 8:30-9:30pm (SHARP)
Open dancing 9:30pm - 12:30am

To music by DJ Ed Caballero (El Dueno De La Salsa)

A partner is not necessary for the lesson. 

Exhibit Opening: “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill”

December 20, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
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An exhibition celebrating the paintings of Illinois’ best-known folk artist, Olof Krans, who documented 19th century life in Bishop Hill, is opening to the public Oct. 11 at Peoria Riverfront Museum. “The Art of Olof Krans: Painter of Bishop Hill” was created in conjunction with the release of a new book on Krans and his work.
The show will feature more than 20 paintings, as well as several items of furniture and artifacts from the Bishop Hill Colony – some of which have never before been displayed in Peoria. Works include portraits of early settlers, views of the colony’s ocean voyage from Sweden, and scenes of early life in Bishop Hill.
Exhibited works come from the museum's permanent collection, a local private collection and the Bishop Hill Museum – which loaned two large-scale paintings including Krans’ famous self-portrait at age 70. The exhibition is curated by Kristan H. McKinsey.
The exhibit celebrates the release of a comprehensive survey – or catalogue raisonné – of Krans' work and his documentation of life in the Bishop Hill Colony. The fully illustrated hardcover book, The Art of Olof Krans: A Prairie Vision, 2014, is available for purchase in the museum store.
The book features essays on Krans’ legacy by Chicago art historian, Esther Sparks, and Martha Jane Downey, Superintendent of Bishop Hill State Historic Site.
It was published by Peoria Riverfront Museum and sponsored by Illinois folk art collector, Merle H. Glick, with additional funding from the American Folk Art Society and David Connor. Printing was made possibible by a grant from the Barbro Osher Pro Suesa Foundation of San Francisco, Calif.

Exhibition opening: “Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art”

December 20, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
309-863-3006
Add to Itinerary

A new exhibit on the evolution of 20th century American art opens to the public at Peoria Riverfront Museum Sept. 27. “Impressionism into Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art,” is a visual journey through the dramatic transformation of American art from the academic realism of the 1880s to the abstract expressionism of the 1940s and 50s.

Presented within the cultural and historical context of the time, the exhibit showcases modern art – mainly paintings, drawings and prints – made in the United States from 1880 to 1950 by American and foreign-born artists. The story focuses on artists working in Chicago, which became the cultural center for the Midwest following Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Accordingly, the exhibit draws from several Illinois art collections, including those of Dr. William H. and Nancy Marshall, Peoria; Illinois State Museum, Springfield; Richard Norton Gallery, Chicago; and Clifford Law Offices P.C., Chicago.

Among the works included in the exhibit are two paintings which have never before been on public display, on loan from the Clifford Law Offices.

Curated by Kristan H. McKinsey, the exhibit also traces the impact on American art of pivotal historical events, including two world wars and the Great Depression, cultural revolutions such as the 1913 Armory Show, the rapid growth of U.S. cities, scientific discoveries and new insight into human psychology.

New York replaced post-WWII Paris as the world’s cultural capital, and the exhibit also examines the dialogue between U.S. and European artists as they experimented with progressive styles and techniques.

A special interactive allows visitors to explore The Armory Show – the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art – the largest group of modern art ever amassed in one location. The show introduced Americans to the avant-garde art of Picasso and Duchamp. It also featured a small number of revolutionary works that shocked visitors and altered the course of modern art in America and Europe.

Impressionism to Modernism: A Paradigm Shift in American Art runs from Sept. 27, 2014 through Jan. 11, 2015. The museum thanks exhibit sponsors Rennie Atterbury, Thomas and Lois Mayer, and Terry Knueppel. This program is partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the collaborative effort of eight organizations, with nearly 500 years of combined experience educating, entertaining, and supporting our diverse Peoria-area culture. Our mission is to inspire lifelong learning for all - connecting art, history, science, and achievement through collections, exhibitions, and programs. Visit PeoriaRiverfrontMuseum.org.

1. "Manufacturing Traditions" Exhibit

December 20, 2014 - Closed on Sunday's and Holidays
Caterpillar Visitors Center
110 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61629
(309) 675-0606
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The tradition of manufacturing at Caterpillar has stood the test of time for nearly 90 years. Many of the tried and true tools and processes that date back to the 1920s still have a home in the modern factories of the 21st century.

Our newest exhibit features a documentary-style film celebrating two employees each with 65 years of service to Caterpillar, a digital photo album containing more than 60 photos and more than 150 artifacts showcasing Caterpillar’s culture of safety, training, quality, employee recognition -- and the processes that ensure Caterpillar products are the best in the world.

We invite you to take a look at nearly 90 years of manufacturing at Caterpillar as we celebrate the thousands of production workers – the people who create the yellow iron – with our ‘Manufacturing Traditions’ exhibit, now through February 2015.

UPCOMING EVENTS


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