PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The 32nd annual Peoria Blues and Heritage Festival is back for the first time since 2019.

Festival director Ian Goldberg said it’s a mix of local and national artists playing blues, jazz, and funk on two stages, along with food, drinks and arts and crafts vendors.

Goldberg said the festival is loosely based on New Orleans Jazz Fest, but the event initially started out as a traditional Chicago blues festival for 18 years.

“Being here in downtown Peoria, just a local hometown event, it’s a good time for everyone. Even if you really don’t know the music, you’re going to have a great time if you come down here and hang out on the riverfront,” he said.

He said the local feel of the festival allows Peoria’s music scene to develop organically.

“It gives us an opportunity to really showcase those artists and take them to the next level. A lot of the artists that start at Kenny’s Westside we then book on the festival, we also put them on Summer Camp Music Festival, and that’s how we grow a scene,” he said.

And when the festival ends at midnight each night, the party will keep going at Kenny’s Westside and other local bars and pubs with live entertainment with festival artists.