Bridge to Bridge River Drive Festival invites people to explore 52 miles of Illinois River towns this weekend

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LACON, Ill. (WMBD) — The first day of the Bridge to Bridge River Drive Festival kicked off Saturday. Organizers said it’s bringing awareness to communities north of Peoria.

“Artists, food, performing arts, there’s always something going on in one of these small towns, probably every weekend,” said Jane Johnson, one of the festival’s founders.

Lacon is just one of four towns participating in the new festival this weekend. The town’s main street was lined with open shop doors and vendor tents to explore on Saturday.

“We get 7,000 cars through here every single day. We’re hoping people will stop, take a picture of themselves, whatever they want to do, and shop,” said Johnson.

There was also an art market filled with things like glassblowing and pottery-making. An artist was also painting a mural of the Lacon Bridge on the side of a building.

“What we came up with was it was kind of a steamboat port town, where they would stop and make deliveries because the train railroad system was here,” said Erik Scot.

Scot said he’s honored to create something to represent Lacon.

“Bypassers are also now getting a slight insight into what the town’s about,” said Scot.

One woman said she loves the idea of this festival and what it brings to the town.

“Since our local community’s actually getting into this year, I’m hoping that they see that art is huge and that they continue to do more and more.”

Johnson said next year, they hope to grow the festival, adding the town of Henry too.

“Take your time, take the 52-mile loop, and it’s just been phenomenal,” said Johnson.

To learn more about the festival, go here.

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