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The ExplorePeoria.com Newsletter can be sent directly to your email box every Thursday.
It's filled with great entertainment and events going on in the Peoria area for the upcoming weekend.

Here's our most recent issue from 12-1-2016:

Joseph, Festival of Lights, Ultimate Christmas Show, Doo-Wap Christmas, Love Letters & Home Tour

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Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will be presented by Eastlight Theatre in the East Peoria High School Auditorium beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2 pm on Sunday and continues next week on Wednesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. A holiday tradition, the show is part of the Festival of Lights event in East Peoria.  Tickets are $19 and are available online at www.eastlighttheatre.com  For more information, call 309-699-SHOW (7469).
CLICK the image to watch our Entertainment Video Report about Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat! 

The Festival of Lights Winter Wonderland continues through New Year's Eve at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road (located at 123 Par 3 Lane in East Peoria). The drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights' signature event featuring the majority of the Parade of Lights floats and many other lighted displays. Hours are 5 - 9 pm Sundays through Thursdays and 5 - 11 pm on Fridays & Saturdays. Cost is $10 for all vehicles excepts full size buses, which are $150. For more information, visit www.folepi.org
CLICK the image to watch our Entertainment Video Report about The Festival of Lights! 
A traveling exhibit of Surviving and Thriving: AIDS, Politics and Culture will be on display daily at the University of Illinois Library of the Health Sciences (located at 1 Illini Drive in Peoria) 9 am - 5 pm through Dec. 14. To commemorate Word Aids Day on Dec. 1, the six-banner traveling exhibit uses a variety of historic photographs and images to illustrate the political and medical history of AIDS. Admission is free and parking is $1. For more information about the exhibit, call 309-671-8490 or visit http://peoria.medicine.uic.edu
The Nature Art Show and Sale will take place at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) Mondays through Saturdays from 9 am - 5 pm and Sunday from 1 - 5 pm (except for Christmas Day) through December 31. Featuring a diversity of media and unique artwork all created by local artists including original nature-related photographs, paintings, woodcarvings, handmade jewelry and more. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org
The 9th Annual AlignLife Toy Drive will take place at the AlignLife of Peoria (located at 4700 N University St. in Peoria) today through December 15. Donate toys for children ages 0 - 6 years old of the Crittenton Centers Crisis Nursery and receive free services for in the process. For more information, call 309-431-1102 or visit www.chiropractorpeoria.org
Winterfest featuring ice skating outside, runs through January 15th on the corner of Fulton St and Jefferson Ave. (adjacent to the Peoria Civic Center) from 5 - 10 pm Monday through Thursday, 3 - 10 pm on Friday, Noon - 10 pm on Saturday and Noon - 9 pm on Sunday. Hours change periodically throughout the holidays. Admission is $10 with skate rental, $8 with your own skates, $5 for children 3 and under. For full details including hours and other special promotions, visit www.pncwinterfest.com
Peoria Cabaret Theater will  present the Illinois Premiere of The Ultimate Christmas Show (abridged) in The Broadway Lounge at The Waterhouse (located at 316 SW Washington St., in Peoria) with a dinner buffet beginning at 6:30 pm and show at 7:30 through Dec. 17. Featuring festive, funny, physical, family fun as Three Wise Guys perform an entire variety show and Christmas pageant by themselves since none of the acts scheduled to perform have arrived. Dinner and the show is $40 for adults . For tickets and information, visit www.peoriacabarettheatre.com
Conklin's A Doo-Wop Christmas will be held at Five Points Washington (located at 360 N Wilmor Rd. in Washington) tonight (Thursday), Friday, and Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 2 pm. Ticket prices are $25 for adults and $8 for students. Buffet dinner tickets can be purchased separately for $25 each. For information and tickets, visit www.fivepointswashington.org
The Central Illinois Herpetological Society will meet at Forest Park Nature Center tonight (Thursday) at 7 pm featuring a speaker, raffles, announcements of trips and exhibits and opportunities for hobbyists to interact with one another. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.centralillinoisherp.com
GONN will perform with Super 88 and Sin Thetic at the Limelight Eventplex (located at (located at 8102 N. University in Peoria) tonight (Thursday) at 7 pm.  Tickets are $10 and are available at the box office, by calling 309-693-1234 or online at www.limelighteventplex.com
Collegium Musicum will take place in Bradley University's Dingeldine Music Center (located at 1417 W Barker Dr. on the campus of Bradley University) tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 pm. Featuring music from the Renaissance and Baroque including sacred instrumental duos and whimsical Dutch folk tunes, admission is free. For more information, call 309-750-3234 or visit www.bradley.edu/calendar
Mannheim Steamroller will perform at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum (located at 101 S Madison St. in Bloomington) tonight (Thursday) beginning at 8 pm.  Tickets are $50 and $65 and are available at the box office, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com
Whisper & Shout at the Contemporary Art Center, an open mic for sharing and inspiring poetry, will take place beginning  at 8 pm. Admission is $4 for members or $8 for non-members.
Live at the Five Spot at the Contemporary Art Center will feature Brazilionaires on Friday from 5:30 - 8:30 pm. Admission is $8 for members, $12 for non-members, $7 for student & senior members and $11 for student & senior non-members. 
Salsa at the Contemporary Art Center, also on Friday, will feature a dance lesson from 8:30 - 9:30 pm and open dancing to DJ Ed Caballero from 9:30 pm - 12:30 am. A cash bar will be available. Admission is $4 for members or $7 for non-members. For more information, call 309-674-6877 or visit www.peoriacac.org
The Unity Point Wellmobile will be at the Alpha Park Library (located at 3527 S Airport Rd in Bartonville) on Friday from 9 - 11 am. The screening includes free blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose, and spirometry screenings. Admission is free and no appointment is necessary. For information, call 309-672-5900 or visit www.unitypoint.org
The Community Festival of Nativities will take place at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (located at 3700 W Reservoir Blvd. in Peoria) from 10 am - 9 pm. Over 300 nativities will be displayed, live local musical performances, alive nativity, children's activities and more. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.interfaithnativitypeoria.com
A Holiday Lunch Show Cruise will take place on the Spirit of Peoria (located at 100 Northeast Water St. in Peoria) on Friday & Saturday from Noon - 2:30 pm featuring Barry Cloyd and Brian "Fox" Ellis with Prairie Folklore Theatre. Tickets are $39 for adults and $19.50 for children 4 - 15. Reservations are required. To reserve your spot and for more information, call 309-637-8000 or visit www.spiritofpeoria.com
The CIAO First Fridays Artists' Tour will take place on Friday from 5 - 9 pm at various locations including the Contemporary Art Center, Studios on Sheridan and the Prairie Center of the Arts plus other locations where visitors can view artist demonstrations as well as purchase pieces. For a complete map of the locations, visit http://ciaopeoria.com
Christmas on Court will take place throughout downtown Pekin (located at 11 S. Capitol St.) on Friday from 5 - 8 pm. Carriage rides, tree lighting ceremony, demonstrations, giveaways at local businesses and live performances will take place throughout the evening. For more information, visit http://enjoypekin.com/events
Howlin' on Water Dueling Pianos will take place in the Broadway Lounge at the MAXAM Building (located at the corners of Liberty and Washington in Downtown Peoria) on Friday & Saturday with dinner seating beginning at 6 pm. Admission for the dinner & show is $40 per person. For information or reservations, call 309-494-9100 or visit www.howlinonwater.com
A Holiday Shop and Stroll will take place at Forest Park Nature Center (located at 5809 N Forest Park Dr. in Peoria Heights) on a forest path lit with luminaries on Friday from 6 - 8:30 pm. Featuring live holiday music, storytelling, caroling, wassail, goodies and more, admission is free and donations will be appreciated. For more information, visit www.peoriaparks.org
Enjoy a Candlelight Walk through the Poinsettia Show at Luthy Botanical Garden (located at 2520 N. Prospect in Peoria) on Fridays and Saturdays through December 23rd from 6 - 9 pm. The walk takes you through the show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music. The show runs throughout the days also from 10 am - 5 pm. Admission is free, although donations are accepted. For more information, call 309-686-3362 or visit www.peoriaparks.org
Central Illinois Ballet's The Nutcracker will be presented at ICC Performing Arts Center in East Peoria on Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 2 pm and 7 pm. Premiere seating is $30 for adults, $22 for students and $15 for children and general seating pricing $22 for adults, $14 for students and $12 for children. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 309-620-3164 or visit www.ciballet.com/season
Three time Emmy Award Winner Ben Bailey will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club (located at 3527 W. Farmington Road in Peoria) on Friday and Saturday at 7:15 and 9:45 pm. Tickets for Friday's 9:45 show are $15 and all other shows are $20 and tickets are available by calling 309-673-5853 or visiting www.jukeboxcomedy.com
Love Letters will be presented at the Corn Stock Theatre Center (located at 1700 N Park Rd. in Peoria) Friday and Saturday at 7:30 pm, and Sunday at 3:30 pm. Featuring retiring theatre manager, Cindy Hoey, and professional actor, Steve Vinovich, tickets are $20 for adults and $15 for students under 18 with a student ID and are available at the box office, by calling 309- 676-2196 or online at www.cornstocktheatre.com
Live at the Rhythm Kitchen (located at 305 SW Water Street in Peoria) will take place on Friday and Saturday night from 8 - 11 pm. There is no cover charge.  For more information, visit www.rhythmkitchenmusiccafe.biz
Christmas on School Street will be held at Faith Lutheran Childcare (located at 650 School St. in Washington) on Saturday from 8 am - 2 pm. Featuring a free Children's Craft Corner, bake sale, Christmas gifts including handmade items and more. Purchase breakfast and enjoy biscuits and gravy, cinnamon rolls, oatmeal, and fruit or lunch which includes pulled BBQ or Italian sandwiches with potato chips or potato soup. Prayer requests accepted. For more information, click HERE
The annual Santa Train, featuring Santa Claus who will make six stops along the railroad line to visit children, provide railroad safety demonstrations and to confirm their Christmas lists this Saturday. Starting with a stop in Mapleton at Mapleton Road at 8:30 am, then on to Glasford at Oak Street (near City park) at 9:35 am, Breeds at Co. Road 23 at 11:20 am, Canton at 2nd Avenue (near the former TP&W Railroad Office) at 1:30 pm, Cuba at 3rd Street at 3:45 pm and finally at Smithfield at Main and Front Street at 5:15 pm. Santa will arrive at each location by train and will visit with the children aboard his holiday caboose. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.pioneer-railcorp.com
Breakfast with Santa will take place at the Kickapoo Creek Winery (located at 6605 N Smith Rd. in Edwards) on Saturday from 9 am to noon. Featuring pictures with Santa, face painting, Christmas cookie decorating and breakfast, admission for adults us $15 and kids 3-10 are $10 and reservations are required. To reserve your spots, visit www.kickapoocreekwinery.com
Breakfast with Santa will take place at the YMCA (located at 7000 North Fleming Lane in Peoria) on Saturday from 9 - 10:30 am. Featuring a photo with Santa, a goody bag for each child, fun craft activity, story time with Mrs. Claus and a breakfast of pancakes, sausages, fruit and juice, cost is $6.50 for adults, $3.50 for children and families of 5 or more (2 adults & 3 or more children) are $25. For information and reservations which are required, call 309-692-7631 or visit http://peoriaymca.org/events
Critter Christmas will take place at the Peoria Zoo (located at 2320 North Prospect Rd. in Peoria) on Saturday from 9 - 11 am. Enjoy a light breakfast and crafts in the lodge from 9-11 am, then watch the animals get their gifts. Cost is $6 for members and $12 for nonmembers. For more information, visit www.peoriazoo.org
The Peoria Jingle Bell Run/Walk 5K will take place at the Peoria Riverplex (located at 600 NE Water St. in Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 10 am. Registration opens at 8 am. Adult competitive / timed participation is $40 and noncompetitive / non-timed is $35 and includes a Jingle bell Run long sleeve t-shirt and jingle bells to tie on to shoes. Discounted rates are available for ages 18 and under. For more information and to register online, visit www.jbr.org/peoria
Christmas with the Animals will be held at Wildlife Prairie Park on Saturday from 10 am - Noon and 1 - 3 pm. Help WPP staff create gifts for the animals with food surprises inside, then give the presents to the animals and learn about their natural instincts. Cost for this event is $5 (in addition to regular admission) and reservations are required and may be made by calling 309-676-0998. Park admission is free for members and ages 2 & under, $5 for ages 3 - 12, $8 for ages 13 - 64 and $6 for ages 65+. For more information, visit www.wildlifeprairiepark.org
The Alzheimer's Association (located at 612 W Glen Ave. in Peoria) will host "Living with Alzheimer's" on Saturday from 9:30 - 11 am.  Providing answers to the questions that arise for people concerned about Younger-Onset Alzheimer's disease or a related dementia, registration is required to attend. For more information or to register, call 309-681-1100 or visit www.alz.org/illinoiscentral
Cool Chemistry Demonstrations will take place at the Peoria Riverfront Museum on Saturday from 1- 2 pm when Bradley University Chemistry Club students provide activities and perform chemistry demonstrations in the museum lobby. Safe and fun for the whole family. Admission is free to members or $11 for adults, $10 for seniors citizens 60+ or $9 for youth 3-17. Admission to the Titanic exhibit requires an additional fee. For more information, call 309-686-7000 or visit www.peoriariverfrontmuseum.org
Folepi's Gifts Galore Shop and Stroll will take place in the Historic Four Corners District in East Peoria (bounded by Washington Street and McKinley Street) on Saturday from 1 - 4 pm. Featuring Santa, free Balloon Creations by The Unique Twist and a coupon for a free admission to the Folepi's Winter Wonderland drive-through display. through Dec. 31 when you spend $25 or more at a participating business. Admission is free. For more information, visit www.folepi.org
The Splendor of Christmas Past Home Tour 2016 will take place from 5 - 9 pm on Saturday and 1 - 5 pm on Sunday. Featuring Peoria Historical Society's Flanagan House & Pettengill Morron House Museums plus three private Peoria historic homes decorated in holiday finery, enjoy the Christmas charm, local history and décor for of Christmas past. Tickets are $20 at the door and are also available at Gregg Florist, the PHS office, Relics, Urban Artifacts and Exhibit A Gallery. Children 12 and under are free with purchase of an adult ticket. For more information, visit www.peoriahistoricalsociety.org
The Bradley Braves will take on the Nevada Wolf Pack at the Peoria Civic Center (located at 201 SW Jefferson Ave. in Peoria) on Saturday beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $8, $14, $20 and $55 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, by calling 309-673-3200 or online at www.Ticketmaster.com
Friends in Harmony will perform at their annual Christmas show at Pekin Community High School's FM Peterson Theatre (located at 1903 Court St. in Pekin) on Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 per person. For more information, call 309-229-1869 or click HERE
The Philharmonic Chorale will present their Christmas Concert at the Performing Arts Center (located at 1 College Dr. in East Peoria) on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. Tickets are $12 for adults and $10 for students & senior citizens. For tickets and information call 309-694-5136 or visit at www.ArtsatICC.com
What the Dickens, a presentation of "A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens will be performed by Doug Day at the Grand Army of the Republic Hall (located at 416 Hamilton Blvd. in downtown Peoria) on Sunday at 3 pm. Tickets are $10 at the door. All proceeds benefit the Central Illinois Landmarks Foundation.
Jazz Vespers Services will take place at Westminster Presbyterian Church (located at 1420 W Moss Ave. in Peoria) on Sunday beginning at 4 pm in the Sanctuary. Featuring central Illinois jazz musician, Dave Hoffman, admission is free, however donations will be accepted. For more information visit www.westminsterpeoria.org

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