Peoria County News Briefs

Chicago Shakespeare Theater actors Faith Servant and Andrew L. Saenz in a scene from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” which will come to Peoria Aug. 18 and Aug. 19. It is the first time for the troupe to perform outside of Chicago.


Taste of Peoria serves up treats

Food, desserts and beverages will be plenty Aug. 8 when the 37th annual Taste of Peoria returns Aug. 8 to the Peoria riverfront.

The layout that debuted last year will be used again, locating nearly 30 vendor stations out into Festival Park on the riverfront. The Todd Kelly Quintet and Stone Cold Cowboys will perform, preceding the 8 p.m. awards presentation and JammSammich will finish the night. Admission is $2.

Peoria Area Community Events will offer free shuttle bus service throughout downtown Peoria. From 4 to 11 p.m., the bus will run from the Gateway Building up to Jefferson Avenue, then to the Peoria Civic Center drop-off lane, then back down to the Gateway Building via Harrison Street and Water Street, picking up on each corner.

For a list of the restaurants and businesses that will sell food and drinks can be found at

Free performances of Shakespeare coming

Shakespeare is coming to central Illinois and celebrating Illinois’s Bicentennial.

Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is coming to Peoria, the first time the program will travel outside of Chicago in its seven-year history. This summer, the theater group’s Tony Award-winning founder and artistic director Barbara Gaines stages her new music-filled adaptation of Shakespeare’s timeless classic, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

The Peoria performances will be presented in Glen Oak Park, 2218 N. Prospect Road, at 7 p.m. Aug. 18 and 2 p.m. Aug. 19. A specially equipped truck will travel from Chicago and unfold into a stage—and a company of professional actors will share Shakespeare’s comedy with the audience. The public is invited to bring blankets or lawn chairs. The play, which is for all ages, will run for 75 minutes with no intermission.

Chicago Shakespeare Theater is working in partnership with the Peoria Park District—the oldest and largest park district in Illinois—as well as residents and community organizations to cultivate new audiences from neighborhoods across the down state region. The first-of-its-kind tour is made possible by a civic, cultural, and corporate partnership between Chicago and Peoria.

In addition to the Peoria performances, Chicago Shakespeare in the Parks is performing in 18 Chicago neighborhood parks through Aug. 26.

Federal funds will pay to finish airport project

The final phase of rehabilitation at Peoria’s airport has received a $1.5 million boost from the federal Department of Transportation. The money will pay for improvements to the facility’s parking apron for planes.

The grant, announced Aug. 2, is described as the final phase of work in a news release from U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-Moline, whose district splits the airport with that of U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Peoria.

The total project at Gen. Wayne A. Downing Peoria International Airport will cost about $10 million, and this is the third phase of the funding. Some 90 percent of the funds were slated to come from the federal government, with 5 percent each coming from the state and the Metropolitan Airport Authority of Peoria.

The funds announced Aug. 2 will help rehabilitate nearly 31,000 square yards of the terminal apron pavement that is at the end of its useful life.

Solar company opens Peoria location

Moxie Solar, a solar installation company, has opened a local office. The new office is in Woodruff Place, and is in addition to the firm’s offices in Chicago, Dixon, and the Quad Cities.

Moxie Solar provides in-house design, build, installation, and financing services to meet the needs of businesses and home owners looking to save both energy and money and become more sustainable. 

Moxie’s new office, 610 Abington Street, Suite H, will be led by Peoria Market President Emily Handrahan and Senior Business Development Officer Matt Randklev. They will offer no-cost solar estimates and share solar energy incentives available through federal and state programs. 

4-H work to be shown at state fair

There’s lots of 4-H to see at the Illinois State Fair. Award-winning 4-H members from Peoria County will display their general project work during four days of the Illinois State Fair. The 4-H members will exhibit in the state fair junior livestock show as they compete for grand champion honors in sheep, goats, swine, dairy and beef. The Illinois State Fair Junior show welcomes people to the fair early to watch a full week of horse shows.

The best of the best will be on display at the 4-H General Project Show of the Illinois State Fair in the Orr Building, Aug. 10-13. The fair will run from Aug. 9-19, and the fairgrounds will be open from 7 a.m. to midnight. 

Chocolate chip cookie taste test at library

The McClure Branch of the Peoria Public Library salutes National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day with a taste test of one of the most popular cookies. The public is invited at 11 a.m. Aug. 11, to the library, 315 W. McClure Ave., to taste various chocolate chip cookies and vote for the favorite.

Cookie lovers owe a debt of thanks to Ruth Graves Wakefield. The chocolate chip cookie is the result of her curiosity in 1937 of what chunks of chocolate would taste like mixed into a sugar cookie dough.


–Peoria County News Briefs–