The Festival of Lights 2023 is back again featuring multiple events throughout the holiday season. Starting with the annual Parade of Lights on Saturday, November 18 beginning at a new time this year: 6 pm. The nearly 2 mile route mostly along East Washington Street in East Peoria will be broadcast live exclusively on WMBD-TV and streaming live on CIPROUD.com This year’s parade will include a special appearance (weather permitting) of the world famous Budweiser Clydesdales courtesy of Brewers Distributing.
Folepi’s Winter Wonderland will open on Friday, November 24th and will be open every day through January 1, 2024. Featuring the floats from the Parade including a candy cane factory, lighted arches and circus animals, a ski jumper display, prehistoric land, space land, western town are just a few of the different displays you’ll see in the drive-through display in VFW Park which starts at 123 Par 3 Lane in East Peoria.
Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sundays – Thursdays, 5 – 11 pm on Fridays & Saturdays and from 5 – 9 pm on Christmas Eve. Sunday through Thursday nights will ensure a shorter line to view the display: weekend nights may take up to 3 hours to wait to see the floats. Admission is $10 for cars, $30 small buses (party, shuttle, mini & school), and $150 for full size buses. On Monday nights, every person in each vehicle will receive a free breakfast and one for free dessert coupon from the East Peoria Chick-fil-A (while supplies last) and on Tuesdays, kids can deliver their letter directly to Santa while their parents pay for admission. And on Wednesdays, every vehicle going through the display will receive a 50% off coupon for Elevate Trampoline Park.
Take a ride through the Winter Wonderland on a Horse-Drawn Wagon Ride provided by provided by Tarvin’s Percharons. Available dates will be November 27 – 30, December 4 – 7 and December 11 – 14 from 5 on – 7:55 pm. Cost is $25 per person for up to 8 people (kids 2 & under can ride on a lap) . Reservations and must be made at https://folepi.square.site Payment must be by credit or debit card and will be taken on a first come, first served basis with no wait list and there are no refunds once you make your reservation. These are popular and will sell out, so it’s advised to make your reservation as soon as possible.
The Annual FOLEPI River Trail Classic 4-mile competitive run and 2-mile non-competitive walk will take place on Saturday, November 25 with the the walk at 8:30 am and the run starting at 9 am. A post-race party will take place at Mickie’s Pizzeria for ages 21 and over. Registration is $25 (not including a race shirt).
Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at Eastlight Theatre has been a Festival of Lights event since the beginning will be taking the stage Friday, December 1 at 7:30 pm and continues on Saturday, Dec. 2 at 7:30 pm, Sunday, Dec. 3 at 2 pm, then again on Wednesday through Saturday, Dec. 6 – 9 at 7:30 pm and Sunday, Dec. 10 at 2 pm. Tickets are available now at https://tickets.eastlighttheatre.com
The Festival of Lights’ Breakfast and Photos with Santa will take place on Saturday, December 2 from 8 – 11 am at Quail Meadows Golf Course in Washington. Kids can join Santa for breakfast, photos and goodie bags during hourly time slots with proceeds benefitting St. Jude Runs. Cost is $10 for ages 13 and up, $5 for kids aged 3 – 12 and free for 2 & under and parents not eating breakfast. Advance registration is required by Tuesday, November 28 at https://www.quailmeadowsgolf.com
For the 2nd year, the Festival will include FOLEPI Town, Track Down where photos of pictures of something located in East Peoria will be posted on the Festival of Lights website and then visit EastSide Centre, 1 EastSide Drive, or the East Peoria Civic Plaza to complete a form of their identification of where the picture was taken. A winner will be drawn from all the entrants with the correct answer to receive a $50 VISA gift card, 5 passes to the Winter Wonderland drive-through display, a 12-month membership to EastSide Centre and a two night hotel stay.
To find Peoria area events & entertainment, visit our Events Calendar