A million sparkles of excitement will light up the night during the 25th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights, Dec. 4-31 in East Peoria, Illinois.
The festival will kick off as it has for the past 25 years on the Saturday after Thanksgiving with the Parade of Lights, and then all festival displays will officially open Dec. 4.
The Parade of Lights will take place at 5:45 p.m. Nov. 28. The parade features approximately 40 lighted floats traveling along a three-mile route on Washington Street.
The Festival of Lights displays will officially open a week after the parade, at 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 4, and continue nightly through Dec. 31.
The 2009 Festival of Lights includes:
· Folepi’s Winter Wonderland – The two-mile drive-through display in VFW Park on Springfield Road will feature the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and other lighted displays such as Folepi’s Village and the Candy Cane Factory. Winter Wonderland will have hours of 5 to 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Winter Wonderland will be open on Christmas night, as well. Admission prices for cars and vans will be $10 each night. Pricing for larger vehicles is $20 for limousines and RVs; $50 for party buses (more than 15 passengers); and $150 for full-size buses.
· Folepi’s Freedom Park – East Peoria’s RiverFront Park along the Illinois River will be decorated in a patriotic holiday theme, featuring lighted displays of the emblems of each branch of the military as well as parade floats including the toy tank and American flag. Display hours are 5-9 p.m. nightly. Admission is free.
· Narrated Nativity Scene – The structures, located at the intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, have a three-dimensional appearance at night and detail the “reason for the season”. Those tuning to radio station 1610 AM will hear a 2-minute narration. Admission is free. Unlike the rest of the festival displays, the Nativity is funded by private donations through the Nativity Display Association.
Other events rounding out the 2009 Festival of Lights include Eastlight Theatre’s presentation of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the East Peoria Historical Society’s Historic Holiday Traditions open houses and the Spirit of Peoria’s Festival of Lights holiday cruises on the Illinois River. Festival of Lights tours are available for charter groups by prior arrangement.
For more information about the Festival of Lights, visit www.cityofeastpeoria.com or call the Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1-800-365-3743.