“Playing in Peoria” – Oct 30

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

Tomorrow may be Halloween, but this weekend is full of sporting events that will entertain families from all over Central Illinois. The colder temperatures means hockey and basketball are back in Peoria. For those of you brave enough to get outside and bear the cold weather, we also have some extremely competitive high school runners headed to Peoria. As if that wasn’t enough for you sports fans, the RiverPlex is hosting a sports auction and cards show this weekend!

And for the non-sporting type, the Peoria Art Guild is hosting a supernatural exhibition that is sure to keep your attention. Also, this will be the first Friday in November, which means that the Central Illinois artists in CIAO are hosting a gallery tour that is the perfect way to kick off your Friday.

For more details, check out the event descriptions below.


Peoria Rivermen

The Peoria Rivermen got off to a great start last weekend, going 2-0 against the rivals from Bloomington. They’ll be back in action this weekend with games on Friday and Saturday night at the Peoria Civic Center. The puck will drop at 7:15 p.m. on both nights.

On Friday night there will be a special appearance by Calum Worthy, or “Dez” from Disney Channel’s Austin & Ally. Color 8×10 photos will be available for $5 each.

Saturday night (Veterans Appreciation Night) will give fans the opportunity to bid on the special camo jerseys that will be worn by the Rivermen in the post-game live auction. Also, veterans (active or retired) will get in free with a paid ticket.


Bradley Braves

The Bradley Braves Men’s Basketball Team will be in action at the Peoria Civic Center in their final preseason exhibition game against West Virginia Wesleyan. Tip-off will be at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday. Get your tickets at the Peoria Civic Center box office and support your Bradley Braves!


IHSA State Cross Country Meet

The best high school boys and girls cross-country runners will compete for the 1A, 2A and 3A state championship this weekend. The races will be held at Detweiller Park (8327 North Galena Road, Peoria, IL) and the races will begin at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday. Come and watch both individual and team champions be crowned.

A full schedule of events can be found on the IHSA website. 


Peoria Art Guild Dia de los Muertos

Join the Peoria Art Guild on Friday as they pay tribute to the holiday Dia De Los Muertos, also known as “Day of the Dead.” This exhibition will explore and educate visitors on cultural aspects of the traditional holiday paying homage to the spirits of those who have passed.

The event will run from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and will feature over 40 artists. Advance tickets for members will cost $20 and cost non-members $30. Tickets at the door will cost $40. All tickets can be purchased at the Peoria Art Guild website.


CIAO First Fridays

Join the Central Illinois Arts Organization (CIAO) this Friday from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. as they host November’s First Fridays tour. This event gives visitors an intimate look at studios, galleries and arts organizations in Peoria.

Stop by the tour locations to meet artists, musicians and collectors and a wide variety of artistic media. This event is FREE to the public and most locations provide beverages and snacks for a small charge or donation request.


As always, stay busy and keep it here for news on everything “Playing in Peoria!”


This post is part of a weekly series that is designed to promote a weekly schedule of Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Member businesses and events.


CIAO First Fridays

Written By: Andrew Ketterer


Join the Central Illinois Arts Organization (CIAO) this Friday from 5:00-9:00 p.m. as they host November’s First Friday tour. This event gives visitors an intimate look at studios, galleries and arts organizations in Peoria.

Stop by any one location and you will get the opportunity to meet artists, musicians and collectors at ten locations that includes a wide breadth of artistic media!

After experiencing this tour first hand this summer, I can say that it’s a great way to start your Friday night in Central Illinois, especially if you enjoy the thriving arts community within the Peoria Area.

This event is FREE to the public and most locations provide beverages and snacks for a small charge or donation request.

Screen shot 2013-10-28 at 2.26.10 PM 


–       The Atelier Building
–       Backspace Collective
–       Contemporary Art Center Studios
–       Gallery Romain
–       The Hive
–       Jefferson Street Studio & Gallerystudios on sheridan
–       Murray Center for the Arts
–       Studio 825
–       Studios on Sheridan
–       Toraason Glass


–       Ceramics
–       Glass
–       Painting/Drawing
–       Photography
–       Printmaking
–       Sculpture
–       Wearable Art
–       Wood

Come and enjoy the unique efforts of creative and talented artists living and working in Central Illinois.

For more information on the tour and its locations, head to the CIAO Website.


Stay up-to-date on Peoria Area happenings by connecting with us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedInGoogle +, and YouTube. 


Women’s Lifestyle Show

Written By: Andrew Ketterer logo-date

The newly interactive and intimate Women’s Lifestyle Show is headed to the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday, October 26, from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The show’s website says, “It takes a year to create, but for one magical day each year, the world stops as women celebrate with their best friends, sisters, mothers, daughters, and each other.”

This year’s show is designed for just that, with a new look, floor plan and concept that are designed to create a more inspiring day to celebrate and empower women like never before! For over 20 years, the show has given Peoria entertainment, educational and intriguing seminars, and numerous contests and door prizes.

Luckily for you, we’ve broken down each section of the show!


Celebrity Speakers

Discovery Channel’s Dr. Lori is promising 100 free live appraisals (50 on each main stage) during the show. Dr. Lori is an award-winning TV personality and TV talk show host with a Ph.D. in art history.

Mary Jo Buttafucu is a motivational speaker that will help you learn to THRIVE! She has appeared on Larry King Live, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Entertainment tonight and the Oprah Winfrey Show. She will describe her experiences mentioned in her book, Getting It Through My Thick Skull: Why I Stayed, What I Learned, and What Millions of People Involved with Sociopaths Need to Know.

The third celebrity is a Days of Our Life actress, motivational speaker and a number-one songwriter, Gloria Loring. In Gloria’s new book, Coincidence is God’s Way of Remaining Anonymous: Reflections on Daytime Dramas and Divine Intervention, she walks through a series of coincidences that transformed her life.

Melissa Costello, the personal chef of Tony Horton, has a mission to make the healthy food taste good while keeping it simple! Her newest book, The Karma Chow Ultimate Cookbook: 125+ Recipes for a Fit, Happy, Healthy You is getting terrific reviews.


Main Stage

This year’s show will feature two separate stages, named the Celebration and Empowerment stages. These will feature motivational speakers, comedy skits, fashion shows, author readings and even concerts. If you’re not sure where to begin your tour of the celebration, the two main stages are the perfect place to start.

fashion and beauty 

Fashion & Beauty

Be prepared to relax while local vendors help showcase the latest styles and trends. Special presentations and interactive activities will show women how to transform their look and create the perfect wardrobe.


Health & Wellness

At this section of the show, the focus will be on creating the perfect balance for an active lifestyle. The expert speakers and live demonstrations fill you with knowledge and inspiration to live the healthiest life you can.



As one of the most popular sections of the show, you’ll have the chance to search this one-of-a kind marketplace for trend setting gifts and unique ideas. What’s better than combining your holiday shopping with wine tasting?


Home & Living

On this pavilion, you’ll have the chance to renovate you living space. Simple and budget friendly ideas from the professionals will help make your home stand out. Head here if you’re looking to transform your home using your inner creativity.


Bridal & Event

A few of Central Illinois’ best wedding and event specialists will teach you about the latest trends and ideas. The vendors and workshops are aimed to teach everything from choosing the best photographer, finding the perfect dress or throwing a spectacular birthday party on a budget.



Master chef creations, taste sensations and tips for preparing favorites are just a few topics that will be discussed at this location. On-stage demonstrations, innovative culinary products and food samples will have you sticking around this pavilion all day long!


Additional Information

Tickets can be purchased at the Peoria Civic Center on the day of the event for $10. Tickets are also available at all Kroger locations for $8.

On-line Ticket Specials:

–       Single Ticket – $8
–       Three-fer – $21
–       Ticket & T-shirt – $21


Stay up-to-date on Peoria Area happenings by connecting with us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedInGoogle +, and YouTube. 

Susan G. Komen: Promise Run & Relay

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

The Susan G. Komen Memorial Promise Run & Relay gets underway at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, October 20 in downtown Peoria! It is known as the most popular competitive running distance in the country. And now, the half-marathon is putting on pink in Peoria this weekend.

Half the distance, twice the fun.


The Cause

Peoria is the home of the promise made between two sisters striving to end the pain caused by breast cancer. Nancy Brinker promised her sister Susan Komen that she would do everything she could to help find the cure. Her promise evolved into Susan G. Komen for the Cure and set this cause in motion. All of the race participants will honor the original promise between sisters as they make their exchange close to Susan’s memorial.


The Expectation

Even organizer Philip Lockwood expects to attract more than 3,000 participants from across the Midwest. “If Dallas is the corporate headquarters of the Komen and Washington, D.C. is the home of our organization’s advocacy work, then Peoria is the spiritual home of the global breast cancer movement,” says Lockwood.

The event hopes to attract participants from throughout the Midwest through the Komen Affiliate network. Locally, the Promise Run & Relay will be part of the Illinois Valley Striders Building Steam training programs from April through October.


Promise_Run_mapThe Course

The 13.1-mile course has been routed throughout the river valley, beginning at the Peoria Civic Center. Participants will wind through East Peoria Levy District, Peoria’s historic High Street, Bradley University, Glen Oak Park and many more locations before finishing back at the Civic Center.



Participants will have the option to register for the traditional half-marathon or the two-person relay.

On-site registration and early packet pickup will be available at the Peoria Riverfront Museum from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. Packet pickup will also be available on October 19 from 12:00 – 6:00 p.m. at Komen Memorial, or on race-day from 6:00 – 7:30 a.m. at the Peoria Civic Center.

Click HERE to register!


Even if you’re not ready to run a half marathon for the cause, you can still donate to the foundation by clicking HERE.


Stay up-to-date on Peoria Area happenings by connecting with us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedInGoogle +, and YouTube. 

“Playing in Peoria” – October 9

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

Happy Fall everyone! Because we’re a couple weeks into October already, I’ve decided to highlight a few events that highlight this gorgeous time of year in Peoria. All of the events this week are outside and will get you outdoors with your family to enjoy the cooler temperature and the changing colors.

Some say fall is the shortest season, so you’d better get out and enjoy these places before it’s too late!


Hayrides and Hotdogs

On this Thursday from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Sommer Park is hosting an event designed to give visitors an old-fashioned good time. For just a small fee, you get hot dogs for roasting, chips, carrots, baked beans, marshmallows and drinks. Hayrack rides, sack races, and fortune telling is all included and children and adult costumes are strongly encouraged.

Ages 11+ cost $6. Ages 3-10 cost $4. There is also a $25 maximum family fee.


Spoon River Scenic Drive

spoon riverThis weekend, on October 12 and 13, travel to Fulton County and enjoy the natural wonders of the Spoon River Valley. There are over one hundred miles of scenic routes to see on this driving tour. There will be food, arts, crafts, entertainment and even a flea market. Get out and explore one or two of the 17 villages located on the route.

For more information, head to the Spoon River Valley website!


Tanners Orchard

Try out something new this weekend and head to Tanners Orchard for one of their Festival Days. On Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Tanners will offer attractions including corn mazes, pumpkin picks, wagon rides, pedal carts and tannerspony rides. This is a great event for the entire family and the younger children are sure to have a blast.

Click HERE for more information on Festival Days at Tanners Orchard.


Ackerman Farms

After you’ve made a visit to Tanners Orchard, head over to Ackerman Farms the next day for some additional fun. This family farm features over 150 different varieties of pumpkins and squash, along with over 15 varieties of apples. Plan on spending the afternoon having plenty of fun in the corn maze, hay rack rides and checking out the friendly farm animals.

For more information on Ackerman Farms, click HERE!


As always, stay busy and keep it here for news on everything “Playing in Peoria!”


Written By: Andrew Ketterer

This post is part of a weekly series that is designed to promote a weekly schedule of Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Member businesses and events.

The Peoria Asylum: Breathing life back into the past…

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

The Peoria Asylum and its storied past may be one of the most historic sites left intact in the Peoria Area. In 1902, the first 100 patients arrived by rail and were admitted into the Illinois Asylum for the Incurable Insane (original name of the Peoria Asylum). In only a couple months, there were 634 patients living in seven cottages at the Asylum.

Coupon Sheet 2014The Asylum was closed in 1973 and the 600 patients were relocated. In its prime, the Peoria Asylum hosted around 3,000 patients. Violent acts from patients and staff, as well as suicide and disease, caused thousands of deaths (rumored to be over 15,000) within the halls of the old Asylum.

For a more detailed history of the Asylum, click here.


Future Hopes for the Site

The current owners are attempting to complete a “historical restoration of the exterior of the building and a complete mixed reuse of the interior” to make the site a tax producing property once again, according to the Peoria Asylum website.

Lofts, commercial space, a bed and breakfast style hotel and a museum are all elements of the current renovation plan. Although the plan isn’t set in stone, the owners believe it is the most effective way to save the historic building.


Ghost Tours

Every Friday and Saturday night, the Asylum hosts Historical and Paranormal tours and ghost hunts through the buildings and cemeteries.

The historical tours begin at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. and are $10 per person. For an extra $10, the visitor can tour the three additional cemeteries.

Hassan1The Paranormal tours and ghost hunts begin at 6:00 p.m., 8:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. and last over two hours. The Paranormal tours are $25 per person.

Lastly, the Peoria Asylum offers overnight ghosts hunts from midnight to 6:00 a.m. for $100 per person.

To schedule your visit, email Trish Weiss at trish_bowen08@yahoo.com.


Ghost Hunters Episode

In January of this year, the new owners of the asylum, Rich Weiss and his daughter Trisha, asked for the help of “Ghost Hunters.” The members of this popular show on Syfy were excited to investigate the reports of paranormal activity. The haunted cemetery, “white lady ghost” (who was captured on film) and spooked construction workers all led to an exciting episode.

The team witnessed a few different events during their visit to the Peoria Asylum. Phantom footsteps, voices and a doll suddenly falling for no reason are evidence that this location is haunted.

But the most impactful moment of the show came when a dark human-like figure moved across the back of the graveyard in full view of the camera. Talk about a spooky thing to see!


Save The Bowen Organization

This organization was established to acquire, stabilize and maintain the historic Bowen Building of the Peoria State Hospital (Peoria Asylum), and they need your help.

The organization is currently accepting small donations for 5-50 dollars. A $25 donation earns you a free historic tour of the building. A $50 donation puts your name in the history books. You will receive a free 2-hour tour of the building, a written tax credit and your name on a brick in the brick path.

Major donations grant donors a large honorary plaque at the entrance of one wing of the building.

For more information on saving this historic building, visit the Save The Bowen website.


Fractured Spirits: Haunting at the Peoria State Hospital

On Wednesday, October 9 at 6:00 p.m. at the Main Library in Washington, author Sylvia Shults of East Peoria will present stories from her book Fractured Spirits. The book chronicles the history of the now abandoned Peoria State Hospital.

Copies of the book will be available for sale and signing. This is a free adult program that is opened to the public. No registration is required.


Kaci’s Places to Play

Check out Kaci’s spooky adventure as she tours the Bowen building in another episode of Kaci’s Places to Play.


Stay up-to-date on Peoria Area happenings by connecting with us on Facebook,Twitter, LinkedInGoogle +, and YouTube. 

“Playing in Peoria” – October 3

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

The summer has ended, but that doesn’t mean the hot temperatures have disappeared for the winter. With highs in the upper 80’s on Friday in the Peoria Area, it may be the one of your last chances to enjoy some fun in the sun. Unfortunately, the weather on Saturday isn’t predicted to be as nice, with thunderstorms in the forecast. With the weather in mind, I’ve broken down a list that includes both outdoor events and a couple that will keep you dry through the storms.



muscle on mainStrongman Competition

Morton’s 7th Annual Strong Man Competition is a must-see for everyone! The event is being held on Main Street in Morton from 10:30 – 4:00 p.m. on Saturday. The event consists of 6 weightlifting/strength elements that including an event where contestents pull a 22,000-pound truck! Did I mention that the competition is FREE to the public!


2013 IESA State Baseball

The best grade school teams from all over the state are headed to EastSide Centre this weekend on Friday and Saturday. The 1A, 2A and 3A championships are on Saturday at 4:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. respectively.

If you’re interested in watching competitive grade school athletics, head out to EastSide Centre this weekend!


CIAO First Friday

Tomorrow is the first Friday of October, so get out and enjoy the art culture in Peoria! The Central Illinois Artist Organization (CIAO) works to highlight studios, galleries and artists from 5:00 – 9:00 p.m. The monthly tour includes stops at 13 locations that showcase many different genres of artistic talent. You will even have the opportunity to talk to certain artists at each location.

For more information, visit the CIAO website.


Wheels O’ Time Fall Festival

wotHead to the Wheel’s O’ Time Museum on Saturday from 12:00 – 4:00 p.m. for their Fall Festival! The festival features antique fire trucks, blacksmithing, music and other special exhibits. The Riversound Brass Quintet will provide live music. Admission is $6.50 for adults and $3.50 for children. Stop out this weekend for a trip back in time.

For a look at the Wheels O’ Time Museum, check out the Kaci’s Places to Play video!


The Wine Bar Grand Opening

Head to Wines ‘N More in Morton on Friday for the grand opening of The Wine Bar, located behind Wines ‘N More and adjacent to Savory House. This intimate Tuscan-style bistro offers a wide variety of wines at reasonable prices. Guitarist Dave Berchtold will perform his acoustic folk, blues and rock and roll music from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

Click HERE for more information!


As always, stay busy and keep it here for news on everything “Playing in Peoria!”


Written By: Andrew Ketterer

This post is part of a weekly series that is designed to promote a weekly schedule of Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau Member businesses and events.