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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”

November 28, 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.

Christmas Cookie Walk

November 28, 2014 - 09:00AM to 04:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
P.O. Box 47
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309-927-3899
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Held at the Colony School Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm. Local elves make cookies that are sure to please everyone.

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

November 28, 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.

JULMARKNAD (Christmas Market)

November 28, 2014 - 10:00AM to 05:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309 927 3899
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Attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations and Christmas gifts for sale.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 28 , 29 and 30. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfit. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building. At the Welcome Center, a Christmas tree display will be created that features the Bishop Hill Colony's Dairy Maids. This tree display was last shown in the Governor's Mansion. A multi-artist exhibit will also be located at VagnHall Galleri in the Prairie Arts. Center. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860's Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 t0 3 p.m. on Nov.28 & 29. Old World Santa Claus will visit with children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Welcome Center. Cameras are welcome.

The 127th Annual SANTA CLAUS PARADE

November 28, 2014 - 10:15AM to 12:00PM
309.681.0696
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PACE ANNOUNCES  2014 SANTA PARADE THEME 

Peoria, IL, Nov. 5/ - Peoria Area Community Events (PACE) is pleased to announce that “Christmas, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is the theme of the 127th Annual Santa Claus Parade. The parade, scheduled to step off at 10:15 a.m. on November 28, 2014, is the longest running holiday parade in the country.

The Grand Marshall in the parade is Jimmy Binkley, Peoria’s entertainer extraordinaire & premier musician playing a variety of music including jazz, pop standards and blues.   Jimmy brightens the lives of many senior citizens entertaining them in nursing homes and hosting 30 Senior Citizen Days and 20 annual Christmas parties. Jimmy has played at Jumer’s for many years and at Sky Harbor Steakhouse.

We are also paying tribute to Bob Larson who has announced the Santa Parade on WMBD-TV telecast.  Retiring this year, this is his 41st telecast. We are sad to see Bob go because he carries a lot of parade history with him.  Bob will ride in the parade for the first time and then proceed to announce his final telecast of the parade.

The parade features costumed characters, novelty walking units, horse units, decorated floats, marching bands, and of course Santa Claus.

Costumes and floats depicting the parade theme “Christmas, It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” will compete for awards presented for the Best Novelty Unit, Best Overall Unit, Best New Entry, Best Commercial Float Entry, Best Non-Profit Float Entry, and Best Religious Float Entry.    

The parade is telecast live on WMBD-TV Channel 31 sponsored by South Side Trust and Saving Bank for the past 46 years.  The telecast area will be on the corner of Main and Adams (in front of South Side Bank).

The parade will take the same route as last year beginning at the Peoria Central Firehouse on Monroe & Bryan Streets, then proceeds on Monroe to Main,  left on Main Street, right on Jefferson Street, left on Liberty Street, left on Adams and will end at the Peoria County Courthouse. 

ILLINOIS CENTRAL COLLEGE GALLERIES FEATURE DRAWINGS, SCULPTURE AND COLLAGE BY SETH FAIRWEATHER

November 28, 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.

Developed Asceticism, an exhibit of drawings and sculpture by Seth Fairweather, will be on display from November 19 through December 10 in Gallery 336B, located in the Academic Building. Fairweather was introduced to glass at Tulane University in 2001. He transferred to Alfred University, where he graduated with a bachelor of fine arts degree in sculpture and three-dimensional studies. Fairweather earned his master of fine arts degree from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He has worked across the country, both fabricating for other people and developing his own artistic work. He has taught at private studios, public access studios, and at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. He is currently researching alternative energy usage in glass art in the Arizona desert.            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. 

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

November 28, 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. 

It's an Old Fashioned Christmas

November 28, 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

Rounding Third

November 28, 2014 - 7:30pm, Friday, November 28th 7:30pm, Saturday, November 29th 7:30pm, Friday, December 5th 2:00pm, Saturday, December 6th 7:30pm, Saturday, December 6th
Festival 56
316 S. Main Street
Princeton, IL 61356
(815) 879-5656
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by Richard Dresser

Directed by Kody C. Jones

November 28th through December 6th, 2014
Grace Performing Arts Center

The tumultuous journey of two Little League coaches through an entire season, from their first tentative meeting to the climactic championship game. Don is the tough, blue-collar, win-at-all-costs veteran coach whose son is the star pitcher. Michael is a corporate executive who's new to baseball. Despite their differences, Michael and Don form an uneasy alliance for the benefit of the team. And over the course of exhilarating victories, heartbreaking defeats, and interminable rain-outs, the two men battle over how to lead the team.

Individual Show Times & Dates

7:30pm, Friday, November 28th
7:30pm, Saturday, November 29th
7:30pm, Friday, December 5th
2:00pm, Saturday, December 6th
7:30pm, Saturday, December 6th

Cast Members

Don - Robert Tobin
Michael- Patrick Doolin

Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

November 28, 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!

Christmas on Court Luminary Walk

November 28, 2014 - 05:00PM to 08:00PM
Pekin Area Chamber of Commerce
Pekin, IL
309-353-3100
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Over 1,000 candelight luminaries bathe downtown Pekin with a warm, festive glow for this early evening business open house. Strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, outdoor theatre, and photos with Santa are sure to be fun for the whole family!

Weekly German Dinners and Entertainment at the Lindendhof

November 28, 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!

Candlelight Walks

November 28, 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.

Yule Like Peoria Holiday Walk-a-Bout

November 28, 2014 - 6:30 – 9:00 pm Walk-a-Bout
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On November 22nd   the Yule Like Peoria Committee, along with many volunteers as well as the assistance of crews manning bucket trucks and lifts, will decorate approximately 175 light poles throughout the downtown streets and riverfront to create a festive atmosphere for the Santa Parade, Yule Like Peoria Walk-About and  Holiday Season. 

Start your evening with the lighting of the lights at Peoria County Courthouse Plaza, then stroll through a wonderland of decorations and activities. Enjoy entertainment—from choirs and magical acts to dancing and everything in between—at more than 30 participating businesses. Refreshments will be available at several locations between the RiverFront and Monroe Street. All ages are welcome.

Swing at Contemporary Art Center

November 28, 2014 - 08:30PM to 12:30AM
Contemporary Art Center of Peoria
Peoria, IL 61602
(309) 674-6822
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A Swing Dance Event 8:30pm-12:30am, the 4th Friday of each month (after Five Spot).

Dance lesson (learn the basics of swing & lindy hop) 9:30am-12:30pm
Also featuring open dancing to the music of DJ Matt Vazquez

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

November 29, 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.

Christmas Cookie Walk

November 29, 2014 - 09:00AM to 04:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
P.O. Box 47
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309-927-3899
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Held at the Colony School Friday and Saturday from 9am-4pm. Local elves make cookies that are sure to please everyone.

Wildlife Waddle

November 29, 2014 - 09:15AM to 03:00PM
Wildlife Prairie Park
3826 N. Taylor Rd.
Hanna City, IL 61536
309-676-0998
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Looking to walk off that Thanksgiving Turkey without having to endure the crowds at the mall? Join us at the Park for a day of waddling. We will have mapped out courses throughout the Park with various levels of intensity. We will also have guided tours of our animal trails!

This is your chance to walk off the turkey and learn all about our animals with your very own tour guide through the Park. Tours are free with your park admission, or free altogether for Park members. Tours will begin at 9:30am and the last tour will depart from the Visitor Center at 2:30pm.  Each tour will have a special animal enrichment program. No tour sees the same program making each tour uniquely fun!

Mike the Bison will also be moved up to the Pioneer area so all guests can have a better view of him. The first 100 guests to greet Mike will receive a free prize!

What if it’s cold? No worries at all! We will have a nice, toasty fire pit at the visitor center bricks area to warm you up.

General Park Admission for this event.

Illinois River Bluff Trail Hike

November 29, 2014 - 10:00AM to 12:00PM
Camp Wokanda
620 Boy Scout Rd.
Chillicothe, IL 61523
(309) 579-2157
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The Peoria Park District’s Camp Wokanda will host an Illinois River Bluff Trail Hike beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, November 29.
Come burn off some of that excess turkey with an extensive con-ditioning hike through the Illinois River Bluff Trail. The hike is free, but be sure to bring a sack lunch. No need to register, the group will meet at Camp Wokanda’s lower parking lot before 10 a.m., hike to Robinson Park for lunch, then return back to Camp.
For more information, call Camp Wokanda, (309) 579-2157, located at 620 Boy Scout Road in Chillicothe.

JULMARKNAD (Christmas Market)

November 29, 2014 - 10:00AM to 05:00PM
Bishop Hill Arts Council
Bishop Hill, IL 61419
309 927 3899
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Attractions include Swedish folk characters, traditional Swedish holiday decorations and Christmas gifts for sale.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. November 28 , 29 and 30. See Tomten, our Swedish elves, roam through the town, shaking hands with tourists, looking through windows, and peeking around corners in their red and grey outfit. A working model railroad and woodcarving demonstrations will be in the Steeple Building. At the Welcome Center, a Christmas tree display will be created that features the Bishop Hill Colony's Dairy Maids. This tree display was last shown in the Governor's Mansion. A multi-artist exhibit will also be located at VagnHall Galleri in the Prairie Arts. Center. Cookie baking will be done in the 1860's Bjorklund Hotel kitchen. Sample freshly baked cookies from 1 t0 3 p.m. on Nov.28 & 29. Old World Santa Claus will visit with children from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Welcome Center. Cameras are welcome.

UPCOMING EVENTS


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