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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 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.

An American Family Christmas

December 20, 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! 

It's an Old Fashioned Christmas

December 20, 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
Add to Itinerary

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

J.K. Williams Distilling Tour and Tastings

December 20, 2014 - Saturdays from 12-5pm, Sundays from 12-4pm
J.K. Williams Distilling, LLC
526 High Point Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-839-0591
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J.K Williams is a family distillery producing high-quality craft whiskey and bourbon in the tradition of our bootlegging great-great grandpa, J.K. Williams.  Stop by for an educational tour and samples of our products Saturdays: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sundays: 12 pm to 4 pm. Tours every 30 minutes.

Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

December 20, 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!

The Way Down Wanderers

December 20, 2014 - Doors Open 6:00PM | Show 7:30PM
Limelight Eventplex
8102 N. University
Peoria, IL 61615
3096931234
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The Way Down Wanderers will perform at the Limelight Eventplex (located at 8102 N. University in Peoria) beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $10 in advance $13 day of the show and are available at the Limelight Eventplex box office or online at www.limelighteventplex.com

There's a Christmas Tree in Terminal C!

December 20, 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

Candlelight Walks

December 20, 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.

Hickory Ridge Coffee House Concert Series

December 20, 2014 - 07:30PM to 10:00PM
Dickson Mounds State Museum
10956 N. Dickson Mounds Rd.
Lewistown, IL 61542
309-547-3721
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Performances by noted folk musicians the third Saturday of each month at 7:30 p.m. Hosted by singer-songwriter Chris Vallillo. Admission: $5.00 for adults, $3.00 for children. For a listing of upcoming shows go to http://hickoryridge.outfitters.com/ or call the Museum at 309-547-3721.

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

December 21, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Add to Itinerary

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.

1. "Manufacturing Traditions" Exhibit

December 21, 2014 - Closed on Sunday's and Holidays
Caterpillar Visitors Center
110 SW Washington
Peoria, IL 61629
(309) 675-0606
Add to Itinerary

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.

WeaverRidge Sunday Brunch

December 21, 2014 - 10:00AM to 02:00PM
WeaverRidge Golf Club
5100 N Weaverridge Blvd
Peoria, IL 61615
309-691-3344
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WeaverRidge Golf Club is open to the public. The Brunch features: Champagne, Mimosas, Made to order Omelettes, Belgian Waffles, Carving Station, full array of Breakfast items, Salad Bar, Lunch Entrees, Seafood Display, and a assortment of mouth watering Desserts. Served 10:00am-2:00pm. For reservations call 309-691-3344 x 3

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

December 21, 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.

Festival of Lights East Peoria Folepi's Winter Wonderland

December 21, 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
Add to Itinerary

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!

J.K. Williams Distilling Tour and Tastings

December 21, 2014 - Saturdays from 12-5pm, Sundays from 12-4pm
J.K. Williams Distilling, LLC
526 High Point Lane
East Peoria, IL 61611
309-839-0591
Add to Itinerary

J.K Williams is a family distillery producing high-quality craft whiskey and bourbon in the tradition of our bootlegging great-great grandpa, J.K. Williams.  Stop by for an educational tour and samples of our products Saturdays: 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm. Sundays: 12 pm to 4 pm. Tours every 30 minutes.

An American Family Christmas

December 21, 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
Add to Itinerary

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! 

It's an Old Fashioned Christmas

December 21, 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
Add to Itinerary

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

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

December 22, 2014
Peoria Riverfront Museum
222 SW Washington St.
Peoria, IL 61602
Add to Itinerary

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.

UPCOMING EVENTS


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