Thousands kick off the holiday season at the Festival of Lights Parade

Local News

EAST PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Thousands of people lined Taylor and East Washington St in East Peoria for the annual Festival of Lights Parade.

The parade kicks off the start of FOLEPI’s award winning Festival of Lights Winter Wonderland.

Parade-goer Brittany Lewis said it’s a local tradition that she’s been to many times throughout her time living in East Peoria.

“When things are so crazy, you know, it just kind of brings a little joy,” Lewis said. “It’s fun, it’s a fun way to start off the season.”

This is also a tradition that many people, like Nikki Feldhaus, said they never miss.

“This is our 37th year making it to this parade, so I’ve been coming since I was a baby,” Feldhaus said. “It starts our holiday right and this is the way to do it.”

Mary Cochran said she is new to the area, and said she was excited to see how many people were out tonight.

“It’s a good foundation for family to establish traditions and to do something like this to kick it off and get a good start to the season,” Cochran said.

Feldhaus said this is an event that gets everyone in the holiday spirit and is a tradition that can be passed down through the family.

“It means everything, time to get together with our loved ones,” Feldhaus said. “I’ve been coming as a child and now I get to bring my own kids, so it means everything.”

The floats can be seen on display at the Festival of Lights Winter Wonderland, which will be open to the public starting Thanksgiving night, Nov. 15.

To learn more about the Festival of Lights and its hours, visit their website.

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