PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria Civic Center held its 5th annual New Year’s Eve kids countdown to kick off 2023.

The celebrations started at 3 p.m. and went on until 6 p.m. when the giant LED ball was dropped 200 feet.

Kalie Pluchel helped coordinate the celebration and she says having the festivities earlier helps cater for kids and adults.

“You may not necessarily want your kids to stay up till midnight. They can still enjoy their own ball drop at 6 p.m. still see the fireworks, take part in all these activities, and still have a really, really fun day without it being so late for the entire family,” said Pluchel

Pluchel says the light is so bright it had to be approved by the fire department.

“If we didn’t have all the buildings around Peoria, you’d be able to see the light for miles. That’s how bright it is,” said Pluchel.

That giant ball and all the other festivities even brought out some who normally don’t participate in New Year’s Eve celebrations.

“I don’t take in New Year’s Eve festivities. So this is another reason why we came down here and so she could experience it as well,” said Monica Spence.

Spence said she had such a fun time she’s thinking of bringing her daughter and coming back next year.