As of now, despite the pandemic, a lot of visitors are still willing to visit the blinking Christmas lights or the East Peoria Festival of Lights. In light of this, let us know more about this event and why we need not miss it out?
About East Peoria Festival of Lights
The East Peoria Festival of Lights is a festival of light wherein thousands of lights are operated to create a bright place to walk through and have fun with loved ones. It is a festival celebrated every year for the people not only of Illinois but also for those who came from other places.
This event started simply as a chore wished to be stopped by Dick Dodson. This person didn’t like any parade or light celebration. That’s why he wished to cut it off. Fortunately, for over 30 years and still counting, volunteers and the people continued the celebration of this festival of lights. It later became a tradition of the Illinois people, which also attracted people from other towns and even overseas.
This year, this celebration will have its 39th year, and it starts from the 24th day of November 2023 to the 1st day of January 2024. As an annual celebration, there is a lights parade and the Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-thru display. Another thing, the favorite mascot will be the wooden soldier Folepi. This name served as the acronym for the Festival of Lights in the East Peoria of Illinois.
Festival Date (2023-24)
This year, the celebration of the East Peoria Festival of Lights starts from November 24, 2023 to January 1, 2024. It is an over a month-long celebration to give the people more chances to experience the wonders of the East Peoria Festival of Lights.
The East Peoria Festival of Lights is located in East Peoria, Illinois East – Washington Street and Dolans Lane, where Auto Zone is located.. If you are taking your own car, you can easily check the GPS for locations. On the other hand, if you are taking a cab, just tell the driver to take you to the East Peoria Festival of Lights. This is well-known to them since they are locals and even you. Just look for the place with a light display and Christmas figures.
If you liked this festival, you can also check out these other amazing lights festival:
The annual celebration of the East Peoria Festival of Lights usually starts at 5 pm and ends at 11 pm but you should check close to the date of your arrival because there is a different schedule for each day. Also depending on the weather and attendance, this time can change.
Here are the details for this year:
Sunday through Thursday – 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
Friday and Saturday – 5:00 pm to 11:00 pm
December 24, 2023 to January 1, 2024 – 5:00 pm to 9:00 pm
If the weather is not suitable for the events included in the East Peoria Festival of Lights, they choose to close it early. This is to ensure that the visitors are safe since there is snow. Hypothermia and excessive cold can affect not only the health but also the quality of the visit.
How much it costs to visit the East Peoria Festival of Lights?
To visit the East Peoria Festival of Lights, you’ll need enough amount. This amount will allow you to experience the fun activities, purchase things, eat, and sleep at a nearby hotel.
In terms of admission, regular vehicles are made to pay $10. For the small buses, it is $30 while it’s $150 for a full-size charter motorcoach.
Excluded here are the food, water, gas, and other else, so you better prepare a lot. If you want to spend less, you can make your own food and eat it inside your car.
The weather in the East Peoria Festival of Lights starting from November is good. However, as the Christmas holiday is drawing nearer, cold and snow are expected. So, everyone is encouraged to wear thick clothes to keep them warm. Also, it is important to consider the comfort and ease when wearing these thick clothes, so you better choose the best.
Another thing, make sure to bring extra clothes if you are going to participate in the fun activities and games. Just make sure that these extra clothes will keep you warm afterward. Avoid wearing too much jewelry as this can be crowded when people decided to come down to relax.
Top 3 nearby hotels
If you’re a local, you can easily go home and get some rest. However, it still depends on you. Now, if you’re from other places or overseas, looking for a good hotel to stay in is a must. Given this, here are the top 3 hotels nearby the East Peoria Festival of Lights.
The Branson Hotel
First, on the list, we have The Branson Hotel. This hotel is a good place if you are with your family as it caters properly and genuinely. The food in this place is truly classy and safe. Also, there is enhanced security, so you’ll never worry. In terms of the car, this hotel has a free parking lot for their visitors.
Holiday Inn and Suites East Peoria
This hotel has high ratings not only because of its elegant facilities but also because of the affordable services. The food, staff, and facilities are worth it.
Fairfield Inn and Suites by Marriot Peoria East
Lastly, this hotel is for those who are looking for an affordable one. Still, it has a clean and sanitized room, as well as good menus.
Top 3 nearby restaurants
This restaurant is a good find. It gives a fine dining experience as you reminisce the riverside view.
Johnny’s Italian Steak House
This is for those who are looking for Italian cuisine. The foods here are all steak, pasta, wine, and anything Italian. So, if you want to have a taste, better go to this restaurant. Another thing, it has a good view of the riverside, so it’s perfect for romantic date nights after watching the East Peoria Festival of Lights.
Sombrerito Mexican Restaurant
If you are looking for Mexican foods, then this nearby restaurant is a must-visit. Here, you’ll be served with sizzling tacos that the Mexicans are so proud of. Also, it is affordable and tasty, so you won’t regret it!
More Things To Do In The Area
Illinois Central College (ICC) – East Peoria Campus
- Location: 1 College Dr, East Peoria, IL 61635
- Description: Illinois Central College’s main campus is located in East Peoria. It’s not just a place of education but also a hub for community events, cultural activities, and performances. The campus’s contemporary design is complemented by green spaces, making it a pleasant place to visit or take a walk.
- Activities: Attend educational and cultural events, explore art exhibits, catch a performance at the ICC Performing Arts Center, or simply enjoy the serene campus environment.
Fondulac Park District’s EastSide Centre
- Location: 1 EastSide Dr, East Peoria, IL 61611
- Description: EastSide Centre is East Peoria’s premier athletic facility, hosting local, state, and national sports tournaments. It boasts state-of-the-art facilities for a variety of sports and events.
- Activities: Attend sports tournaments, join fitness programs, or walk along the scenic outdoor trails that provide panoramic views of the area.
- Location: Clock Tower Drive, East Peoria, IL 61611
- Description: East Peoria’s vibrant downtown area, the Levee District offers a range of shopping, dining, and entertainment options. With its mix of local businesses and recognizable national brands, there’s something for everyone.
- Activities: Shopping, dining out, enjoying local events and festivals, or simply strolling through the district to take in the ambiance.
- Where can I park when attending the Festival of Lights?
- Parking is available in designated areas around the festival venue. Some parking spots may require a fee, while others may be free of charge. Always follow the local signage and instructions provided.
- Is smoking allowed during the festival?
- The East Peoria Festival of Lights is a family-friendly event. While there is no blanket smoking ban throughout the festival grounds, visitors are encouraged to be considerate of others, especially in crowded areas. Specific smoking areas may be designated.
- Can I bring my pet to the Festival of Lights?
- Pets are generally not recommended due to the crowd sizes and noise levels, which can be distressing for animals. If you do bring a pet, ensure they are on a leash at all times and be prepared to pick up after them.
- Is there a cost associated with attending the festival?
- Yes, there is an admission fee. For details, refer to this article’s festival cost section.
- Are there food and drink vendors available on-site?
- Yes, there are typically food and drink vendors scattered throughout the festival, offering a variety of options to satisfy your taste buds.
- Is the festival wheelchair accessible?
- Yes, the festival grounds are wheelchair accessible.
- Can I take photos during the event?
- Absolutely! Attendees are encouraged to capture their memories, but do remember to be respectful of other visitors when taking photos, especially during peak hours.
- What should I wear to the festival?
- Given that the festival takes place outdoors during the cooler months, visitors should dress warmly and wear comfortable shoes.