EAST PEORIA Ill. (WMBD) — The 39th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights Parade is a tradition spanning multiple generations.
The parade was broadcast live on WMBD news, making it the first time it was available for people to watch in their homes.
Jill Peterson, public relations coordinator for the City of East Peoria, helped organize the parade and said the more who can watch the parade, the better.
“It just gets us out to a bigger audience. We want everyone in America to know about the East Peoria Festival of Lights and what great displays we have. We had one lady today on our Facebook page who is in Florida, she was going to try to find it so she can watch it in Florida,” she said.
The parade was initially meant to be a one-time event, however, Peterson said the future of the Festival of Lights parade is very bright.
“We now have generations coming to the parade. We have people who were very little children who are now volunteering for the parade or bringing their own grandchildren to the parade, so we’re excited to make this a generational festival, and we see it going on for a long time,” said Peterson.
Washington resident Ryan Bernius has been coming to the parade for more than a decade. He said every year the parade gets larger and so do the crowds.
“It’s great, you know the crowds get bigger and bigger every year. I mean friendly faces, spending time with family, it’s great,” said Bernius.
The floats will be set up in FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland in East Peoria on Black Friday until the new year.
If you were unable to catch the parade, you can watch it right here on CIProud.com.