Kickoff The New Year In Central Illinois

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

The Peoria Area is perfect for that special New Year’s Eve night. Some events have a high-end feel of an exclusive big city party, while many of the events have a small city feel, with a cozy atmosphere and affordable prices. And for those of you looking for a bit of both, don’t you worry; we have that too.

No matter what you’re thinking for welcoming in the New Year, be sure to check out a few of the featured events in the Peoria Area.

There’s no better way to kickoff 2014!


 The Waterhouse – Howlin’ on Water

Celebrate the New Year at the 9th Annual New Year’s Eve and Grand Relocation Party at the Maxam! (316 SW Washington Street, Peoria, IL) The cost is $80 per person for a two-entrée buffet dinner, drinks, New Year’s Eve favors, champagne toast at Midnight, and of course the hilarious sing-along, clap-along, laugh-along dueling pianos show presented by Central Illinois Dueling Pianos!

Dinner is at 7:30pm and the extended four-hour show is from 9-1am.


Table19 – Peoria Marriot Pere Marquette

On this special night, visitors will be offered the ballroom package, which includes the hotel room and party for $299 plus tax. There will be a dinner buffet and a cash bar. From 9-1am South Side Cindy & The Slip Stones will be playing along with an open bar from 9-12:30 and a champagne toast at midnight, there will also be party favors.

For a more intimate setting, Table19 is offering a $120 a couple plus tax and gratuity dinner from 5-10pm, with reservations required.


Two25 – Mark Twain

Help welcome in the New Year with dinner for two, plus a studio room for $250. There will be a complimentary champagne toast at midnight, along with drink specials from the bar. Also, there will be live music starting at 9:00 p.m.


Holiday Inn & Suites – East Peoria

This holiday special includes a package deal for two of $225 plus tax. This includes the standard guest room, dinner in Johnny’s Ballroom with a special menu, champagne toast at midnight in the lobby, and breakfast for two the next morning.

This same package is also available with a suite option for $250 plus tax.


Other Peoria Area Events

Par-A-Dice – Boyd’s Steakhouse: Steak and lobster dinner for two for $99.

Kelleher’s Irish Pub: Dinner specials and champagne toast along with live music.

Martini’s: Cash and prizes, along with live entertainment from Seven West.

Crusens on Farmington: Performance by The Personnel and champagne toast at midnight.

Rhythm Kitchen: Food specials and live music from Charles Walker Band

New Amsterdam: Couples menu, champagne toast and live music from Craig Williams.


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Radio 4 Relief

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

Head to the Peoria Civic Center on Saturday and rock out for a good cause!

105.7 the X invites everyone to attend the “Radio 4 Relief” concert on Saturday, Dec. 14 at the Peoria Civic Center. The fundraiser has been organized to help rebuild the communities in Central Illinois that were affected by the tornadoes that struck earlier this month.


The National Weather Service reported that two-dozen tornados struck Illinois, with one tornado carving a half-mile path through Washington. Six people died in Illinois and 147 people were injured, according to the National Weather Service.

Check out the performance schedule, based on the Peoria Civic Center website.
The doors will open at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and the musicians will take the stage at noon. There are 16 artists schedule to perform on two different stages. Tickets will be $25, but 100% of the proceeds will go to the Central Illinois tornado victims.

Stage 1

Matthew Curry
Afternoon Moon
Cole Hollow
Chicago Farmer
The Henningson’s
Steady Flow
Willie Waldman

Main Stage

Dory Drive
Gemini Syndrome
3 Years Hollow
Mindset Evolution
Asking Alexandria
Corey Taylor (Acoustic)

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Pekin Winter Wonderland

Written By: Andrew Ketterer

There are many holiday celebrations happening throughout the Peoria Area over the next couple of weeks, but none may be more popular than the Pekin Winter Wonderland. The local festival includes face painting, caroling, gingerbread house making workshops and so much more.

Below is a list of featured Winter Wonderland events taking place over the next couple weeks.


Friday, December 6

Pekin Main Street “Christmas on Court” Luminary Walk

Head to the Business District on Court Street in downtown Pekin for the “Christmas on Court” Luminary Walk from 5-8 p.m. This event includes over 1,000 candlelight luminaries, business open houses, strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, the outdoor theatre and even photos with Santa.

Winter Wonderland Dance

Also on Friday is a wonderful concert from the Bobby Remack Band from 7-10 p.m. at Miller Senior Citizen’s Center, 551 S. 14th St. in Pekin. The Pekin Hospital Home Healthcare and ProCare will provide refreshments. The event will cost $7 per person, but no advance registration is required.


Saturday December 7

Gingerbread House Workshopgingerbread

Travel to the Pekin Public Library Community Room on Saturday from 10-11:30 a.m. or 1:30-3 p.m. to learn how to make the perfect gingerbread house. Pre-registration is required, along with a $12 fee. To register, go to

Breakfast with Santa

Santa will be making a special appearance on Saturday for a pancake and sausage breakfast at Soldwedel Program Center off of Route 98 in McNaughton Park. Everyone will have the opportunity to play games, listen to a few Christmas stories and make crafts. Both 8:30-9:30 a.m. and 10-11 a.m. sessions will charge $5 per person. Call 309-347-7275 to register.


Saturday, December 14

Winter Wonderland Skate Expo

Celebrate Christmas by watching the “Learn-to-Skate” class participants and the Skate Team perform to Christmas classics on ice! The show will get started at 3 p.m. at Veteran’s Memorial Ice Rink in Pekin. Also, thee will be free admission for all attendees.

Christmas Grand Day

This celebration is the perfect way for families to make memories together. Each family usually celebrates Christmas in their own way, with special traditions that have survived over the years. At this event, everyone will learn about Christmas customs from around the world. It will be held at the Soldwedel Program Center, off of Route 98 in McNaughton Park from 10 a.m. to noon. Admission will be $10 for each set of grandparent and grandchild, with a $2 additional charge for each additional child. Call the Pekin Park District at 309-347-7275 to register.


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The Peoria Rivermen: A part of the community once again.

rivermenWritten By: Andrew Ketterer

Only a few months ago, a local ownership group stood in front of media and the Peoria community promising to bring back the history and the tradition of the Peoria Rivermen, after the St. Louis Blues decided to move the franchise.

Bart Rogers, John Butler, David Hunt, and most notably, Bruce Saurs, have committed the franchise to renewing the relationship between the organization and the community. This attempt at reconnecting has included many different promotional nights, restructured sponsorships with local companies, and increasing the availability of the players through meet-and-greets and community appearances.

But the Peoria Rivermen made their most impactful commitment to the community on Nov. 18, when they announced that Friday, Dec. 20 would be designated “Central Illinois STRONG Night,” where they will face-off at the Peoria Civic Center against the Bloomington Thunder. Special Rivermen jerseys will be auctioned off live following the game. One hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to the local American Red Cross to benefit families in Central Illinois that were impacted by the tornadoes.jersey

“By talking to those on the ground and those agencies helping out, they have told us that the easiest and best way to get help and resources to those in need is through financial donations,” said Rivermen co-owner Bart Rodgers.

He added, “We ask all sports fans across our area, and fans of other SPHL teams, to step forward and make a monetary donation to help our local cause. As other needs arise down the road, we will adjust and continue to help assist where our organization can.”

On Nov. 27, Rivermen players spent over 90 minutes with a day care set up by the Washington Park District. Over 100 children from families who lost their homes in the tornado were in attendance. An extremely competitive dodge-ball game broke out where the kids jumped, ducked and dove their way around. But most importantly, the kids smiled and laughed.rivs

“They have nothing to go home to, a lot of them literally,” Rivermen goaltender Eric Levine said. “To get the devastation off their minds for a little while was awesome. We are so glad we could be there, and be part of their healing.

There should be no doubt in Central Illinois that the Rivermen’s focus on the community is back. The days of St. Louis ownership has passed and local ownership has saved hockey in Peoria once again. But more important than hockey, local ownership has brought back a franchise that the community can be proud of, both on and off the ice.


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