Annual Events & Festivals
All year long in Peoria, Illinois, is festival season. Events take place all throughout the Peoria area, including in and around downtown Peoria’s arts, entertainment and dining district on the Illinois River waterfront. Here are some of the top festivals and events that you won’t want to miss. Editor's Note: As our nation continues to navigate new COVID-19 protocols, please double check on our events page or call us at 309-282-3281 to check the status of upcoming festivals in the region.
Every Memorial Day weekend, tens of thousands flock to Three Sisters Park in Chillicothe for this music festival. Summer Camp has grown from 1,000 attendees in 2001 to more than 20,000 attendees in 2019. Don’t miss yearly favorites Moe. and Umphrey’s McGee along with much, much more. Insider tip: Plan for any type of weather! Mother Nature always makes things interesting for Summer Campers.
Riverfront Farmer’s Market
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 Good Neighbor Days
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.
Unity Point Red, White & Boom!
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!
Taste of Peoria
If you leave this party hungry, you have done something wrong. Enjoy delicious cuisine brought to you by local restaurants and food trucks. Completing this yearly favorite is live music throughout the evening. Insider tip: Bring a lawn chair. You’ll thank us later.
Pekin Marigold Festival
Held in the Marigold Capital of the World, don't miss this annual festival to honor Pekin’s favorite son, Senator Everett Dirksen. Enjoy the yearly parade, crowning of Miss Marigold, carnival and more! Purchase a floating lantern to honor your heroes at Lagoon Glow, held at the Mineral Spring Park Lagoon. Insider tip: Get a map and wear your walking shoes, there’s way more to see and do than you would expect!
Morton Pumpkin Festival
The perfect fall festival for any pumpkin lover in the Pumpkin Capital of the World! This four-day festival is packed with events like the Pumpkin Boxcar Derby, the Pumpkin Princess pageant and Pumpkin Classic 10K. Insider tip: Three words: Pumpkin. Pancake. Breakfast. Get there early!
Big Picture Festival
The Peoria Warehouse District comes alive with color and community with this artistic festival. Artists of all ages and abilities are invited to participate in creating masterpieces from paint to chalk. Large scale murals are also created by featured artists. Insider tip: Dress for a joyful mess.
East Peoria Festival of Lights
Kick off the holiday season in East Peoria starting the day after Thanksgiving through New Year’s Eve and marvel at FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland. This drive-through lighted spectacle features over three-million lights constructed as animals, toys, holiday items and more! Insider tip: The line for Winter Wonderland is significantly shorter on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Due to COVID-19 our annual events calendar is currently being updated every day as more information is released about safety protocols and the overall health of our region. Our local Health Departments and the Illinois Department of Public Health continue to monitor the situation and offer their guidance in hosting future events. In the meantime, please double-check our events listings to see the latest information on upcoming events and programs.