Archive for December, 2010

 The Festival of Lights’ FOLEFPI’s Winter Wonderland will take place for its final two nights, Tonight (Thursday) & Friday, at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria (Entrance address: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria). Hours are 5-9 pm Tonight and 5-11 pm on Friday. The almost 2-mile drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event.

The Festival of Lights FOLEFPI’s Freedom Park will also take place for its final two nights, Tonight (Thursday) & Friday.  Admission is free. Featuring lighted emblems from each branch of the military and lighted displays such as the toy tank and American flag parade floats, also on display will be memorials for East Peorians lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as a memorial for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Festival of Lights Narrated Nativity is open 24 hours a day through Friday. The nativity is located at the Intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, just across from the East Peoria Post Office. Admission is free.

We Need A Little More Christmas, an original Christmas revue featuring lots of seasonal music and comedy, concludes this weekend at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield. Showtimes are tonight (Thursday), Friday (doors open at 6 pm, buffet at 6:30 pm, and show at 8 pm) and on Sunday (doors & the buffet open at noon, show is at 1:30 pm). Prices are $30 for Thursdays, $32 for Fridays and Sunday brunch.  There is no show on New Year’s Day. For more information, call 965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Matthew West will present a Remembrance Concert for Dax Locke on the one year anniversary of his death from Leukemia at Five Points Performing Arts Center in Washington tonight (Thursday) beginning at 7pm. General admission tickets are $10 and Gold Circle tickets are $20 which include passes to meet & greet with West & the Locke family. Proceeds from the concert will benefit St. Jude in memory of Dax Locke plus additional donations will also be accepted at the concert.

Jimmy Shubert will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club at 8 pm Tonight (Thursday), 8 pm & 11 pm on New Year’.s Eve & 8 pm on New Year’s Day. Tickets are $12 for the Thursday show, $21 or $20 with cash for New Year’s Eve & $14 for the New Year’s Night show. The New Year’s Eve shows will have hot & cold appetizers and for the 11 pm show, there will be free champagne and party favors between the opening act & Jimmy’s show. This show is rated R. Tickets are available by calling 673-5853 or at www.jukeboxcomedy.com

The Luthy Botanical Garden’s Annual Poinsettia Show runs through Friday from 10 am – 7 pm.  Visit the Conservatory, where a tropical collection blends with hundreds of poinsettias to create a wonderland unmatched anywhere in Peoria. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.

Come learn the significance of Mishumaa Saba and Zawadi at the Luthy Botanical Garden Kwanzaa Display through New Year’s Eve. Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. Learn about this holiday and see the display of African plants while you enjoy the beautiful holiday surroundings of the Poinsettia Show. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.

Grab your little party animals and get ready to ring in the New Year with Award Winning Children’s Recording Artist Julie K at her first annual Noon Year’s Eve Celebration beginning at 10:30 am Friday at the Caterpillar Performing Arts Center at Five Points in Washington. Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door and are available online at www.fivepointswashington.org For more information, visit www.juliekmusic.com

Enjoy the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s New Years Eve Benefit with food and live entertainment from 5 – 10 pm Friday at the Childers Banquet and Events Center. Admission is $49.95 for adults and includes a six course meal featuring a gourmet meal and live entertainment featuring the Larry Harms Jazz Quartet. Reservations can be made by calling 839-0037. A portion of the proceeds goes to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) supporting improvements in the quality of life and a cure for those children affected by Type 1 diabetes.

Contemporary Arts Center’s Live at the Five Spot will host Bill Porter this Friday from 5:30 – 7:30 pm in the Preston Jackson Gallery. Admission for members is $7, nonmembers are $10.
Salsa at CAC will also take place Friday with a dance lesson from 8:30-9:30 followed by open dancing until 12:30 am. Admission is $3.00 for members, $6.00 for nonmembers.

The Peoria Rivermen will take on the Milwaukee Admirals at the Peoria Civic Center (Carver) Arena Friday beginning at 6:05 pm.  Tickets range from $10 to $25 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office, by calling 676-1040, at any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com

Ring in the New Year at Peoria Players with Ring-A-Ding-Ding New Year, a revue with the music of Frank Sinatra on New Year’s Eve beginning at 7:30 pm and on Sunday at 2:30 pm at Peoria Players Theatre. Enjoy the classics of “Ol’ Blue Eyes” performed by local favorites. Admission is $15 for all ages and includes complimentary hors d’oeuvres. For tickets, call 688-4473 or visit the Peoria Players Box Office.

The Get Lit New Year’s Eve Fun Run will take place on Friday beginning with check-in from 10:30 to 11:45 pm and the race at 11:50 pm. Cost for the run/walk only is $13. Now in it’s 10th year, Get Lit open to men, women and children and is a non-competitive run/walk on a two-mile paved course through the FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display. A post-race pizza party at Avanti’s Ristorante will follow the fun. For more information, call 253-2420.

Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Celtic Christmas” with boarding of the boat beginning at 5:30 pm, and cruise running from 6 – 8 pm. Admission includes dinner during the cruise and is $40 for adults, $20 for kids aged 4-12 and free for infants. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 637-8000 or visiting www.spiritofpeoria.com

The East Peoria Boat Club will host the Polar Ice Plunge 2011 on Saturday (New Years Day) at the East Peoria Boat Club located off Rt. 26 at the Tazewell/Woodford County Line. Registration is from 10 am – 1 pm with the Plunge ceremony beginning at 1 pm. Registration is $20 and includes a Plunge t-shirt. Proceeds will benefit the Dream Factory & other children’s causes. For more information, call 699-6655. Registration forms are available at the club or online at eastpeoriaboatclub.com

Bradley Braves will take on Wichita State at the Peoria Civic Center (Carver) Arena beginning at 7:05 pm. Tickets are $8, $12 & $20 and are available beginning November 1 at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com

 The Festival of Lights’ FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland takes place tonight through December 31st at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria (Entrance address: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria). This display is open Christmas Eve & New Year’s Day, but not Christmas Day.  Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 Mondays -Thursdays for cars and vans, or $10 on Fridays through Sundays,  Limousines and RVs are $20, party buses (holding more than 15 passengers) are $50 and full-size buses are $150.The almost 2-mile drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event.

The Festival of Lights FOLEPI’s Freedom Park also runs tonight through Dec. 31st from dusk to 10 pm nightly. Admission is free. Featuring lighted emblems from each branch of the military and lighted displays such as the toy tank and American flag parade floats, also on display will be memorials for East Peorians lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as a memorial for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Festival of Lights Narrated Nativity is open 24 hours a day through December 31st. Admission is free.  The nativity is located at the Intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, just across from the East Peoria Post Office. Admission is free.

We Need A Little More Christmas, an original Christmas revue featuring lots of seasonal music and comedy, continues at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield tonight (Thursday) with doors opening at 6 pm, buffet at 6:30 pm, and show at 8 pm and Sunday (doors & the buffet open at noon, show is at 1:30 pm). Prices are $30 for Thursdays and $34 for Saturdays. For more information, call 965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

Bring the family and ride Shoppe-A-Long, the giant 25 ft. rocking horse at the Shoppes at Grand Prairie. Shoppe-A-Long seats up to 6 people comfortably and is rocked daily by local fundraising organizations. Open Monday-Friday 3 pm- 9 pm, Saturday 12 pm – 9 pm, and Sunday 12 pm – 6 pm.  Enjoy the peace and tranquility of years gone by as you ride through the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in a Horse Drawn Carriage during the holidays from 5 – 8 pm. Pick-up is at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse and rides are free.

Jukebox Comedy Club will host its Mid-Winter Amateur Comedy Tournament beginning at 8 pm tonight (Thursday). Twenty comics will perform to celebrate Jukebox’s 20th birthday. Admission is $5. For more information, call 309-673-5853.

The Luthy Botanical Garden’s Annual Poinsettia Show runs through Friday, December 31st. Regular Conservatory hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5 pm. The Garden is closed Christmas Eve & Christmas Day and also on Mondays. Visit the Conservatory, where a tropical collection blends with hundreds of poinsettias to create a wonderland unmatched anywhere in Peoria. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.

Come learn the significance of Mishumaa Saba and Zawadi at the Luthy Botanical Garden Kwanzaa Display from Sunday through New Year’s Eve. Kwanzaa is an African-American holiday that celebrates family, community and culture. Learn about this holiday and see the display of African plants while you enjoy the beautiful holiday surroundings of the Poinsettia Show. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of years gone by with Carriage Rides on the Prairie as you ride through the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in a horse drawn carriage during the holidays from 5 – 8 pm on Friday & Saturday and from 1 – 5 pm on Sunday. Pick-up is at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse and rides are free.

Enjoy a Family Skate at Owens Center from 3 – 4:45 pm on Sunday. Admission is $20 for families (up to 5 people) which includes skate rental. Owens Center is located at 1019 W. Lake Ave. in Peoria. For more information, call 309-686-3368.

 The Festival of Lights’ FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland takes place tonight through December 31st at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria (Entrance address: 123 Par 3 Lane, East Peoria). Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sunday-Thursday and 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. Admission is $5 Mondays -Thursdays for cars and vans, or $10 on Fridays through Sundays,  Limousines and RVs are $20, party buses (holding more than 15 passengers) are $50 and full-size buses are $150.The almost 2-mile drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event.

The Festival of Lights FOLEPI’s Freedom Park also runs tonight through Dec. 31st from dusk to 10 pm nightly. Admission is free. Featuring lighted emblems from each branch of the military and lighted displays such as the toy tank and American flag parade floats, also on display will be memorials for East Peorians lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as a memorial for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Festival of Lights Narrated Nativity is open 24 hours a day through December 31st. Admission is free.  The nativity is located at the Intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, just across from the East Peoria Post Office. Admission is free.

We Need A Little More Christmas, an original Christmas revue featuring lots of seasonal music and comedy, continues at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield this weekend. Showtimes are tonight (Thursday), Friday & Saturday (doors open at 6 pm, buffet at 6:30 pm, and show at 8 pm) and on Sunday (doors & the buffet open at noon, show is at 1:30 pm). Prices are $30 for Thursdays, $32 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $34 for Saturdays. For more information, call 965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

International award winning sleight of hand artist Mitch Williams brings his unforgettable, mind blowing close up magic to the Whammy Bar in downtown Peoria tonight (Thursday) from 5:30 – 8 pm.

REO Speedwagon is back in Bloomington and ready to rock the stage at the U.S. Cellular Coliseum at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday). Tickets are $43 and $36 and available online at Ticketmaster.com, by phone at 800-745-3000, select Walmart locations, in person at U.S. Cellular Coliseum Box Office and all Ticketmaster outlets.

White Christmas continues at Peoria Players Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday, 1:30 pm on Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for patrons 18 & under and tickets are available at the Peoria Players Box Office, by calling 688-4473 or online at www.peoriaplayers.org

Henry Phillips performs this weekend at the Jukebox Comedy Club at 8 pm tonight (Thursday) and on Friday & Saturday at 8 pm & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $14 except for the Thursday and Friday late shows which are $10 and are available at www.jukeboxcomedy.com or by calling 673-5853.

The Luthy Botanical Garden’s Annual Poinsettia Show runs through Friday, December 31st. Regular Conservatory hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5 pm. The Garden is closed on Mondays. Visit the Conservatory, where a tropical collection blends with hundreds of poinsettias to create a wonderland unmatched anywhere in Peoria. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted.

Enjoy the Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens featuring the Garden’s Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music from 7 – 9 pm on Friday & Saturday. Conservatory admission is waived during the holidays: donations will be accepted.

Enjoy a Holiday Shop & Stroll at Forest Park Nature Center with a nighttime stroll on Friday & Saturday on a forest path lit with luminaries and live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, hot wassail and homemade goodies. Musical guests are Mike Anderson (mountain dulcimer) on Friday from 6 – 7:15 pm, Forest Flute Ensemble (4-5 flutes) from 7:15 – 8:30 pm and on Paul Adam from 6 -7:15 pm on Saturday and Cygnet String Quarter from 7:15-8:30 pm. Find unique artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale or shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are appreciated.
Editor’s Note:  Use the coupon from Peoria-Deals.com on Saturday & Sunday at the Trailhead Nature Store – click HERE for a printable coupon.

Live at the Five Spot is the Contemporary Art Center’s music event that runs Friday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 pm featuring the best regional talent performing jazz, blues and more. This week will feature Ed Kaizer performing holiday music. Admission for members is $7, non-members are $10.
Salsa at CAC is a Latin dance event held on Friday night with a dance lesson from 8:30 – 9:30 pm followed by open dancing from 9:30 – 12:30 am. Admission is $3 CAC members and $6 non-members.

Enjoy the peace and tranquility of years gone by with Carriage Rides on the Prairie as you ride through the Shoppes at Grand Prairie in a horse drawn carriage during the holidays from 5 – 8 pm on Friday & Saturday and from 1 – 5 pm on Sunday. Pick-up is at Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse and rides are free.

The Peoria Area Civic Chorale will present “An American Family Christmas” at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday night & at 2:30 pm on Sunday at the Caterpillar Performing Arts Center at the Five Points Center in Washington. Tickets are $24 for adults, $12 for students and $20 each for groups of 10 or more and are available by calling 693-6725. For more information, visit www.peoriacivicchorale.org

Have Breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus at Jillian’s benefiting Easter Seals on Saturday from 9 -11 am. Kids can come and enjoy breakfast, receive a free $5 Jillian’s Game Card, and also enjoy various entertainment and a balloon artist. Tickets are $10 each with reservation or $15 each at the door.  Call 692-3672 ext. 0 to make reservations.

The Lakeview Museum Shop will host a Consignment Artist Demonstration on Saturday from 10 am – 4 pm featuring 5 artists who have products available for sale in the shop:  four jewelry artists who work with various mediums and a glass artist. Admission is free.

The Peoria Rivermen will take on the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Peoria Civic Center (Carver) Arena beginning at 7:05 pm on Saturday.   Then on Sunday, the Rivermen will take on the Lake Erie Monsters beginning at 3:05 pm. Tickets for both games range from $10 to $25 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office, by calling 676-1040, at any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com

The annual Skate with Santa at Owens Center will take place from 5  – 7 pm on Saturday. Admission is $3 for ages 12 and under, $4 for adults and $3 for senior citizens, plus skate rental. Special Family Holiday Skate hours will run again from 3 to 4:45 pm on Sunday. Call 686-33668 for more information.

The Nebraska Caravan Theater will present “A Christmas Carol” at the Peoria Civic Center Theater on Saturday at 8 pm. Tickets are $22, $32 and $42 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

A Giant Flea Market will be open at Expo Gardens on Sunday from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm. Admission $1.50 or free for ages 12 and under with an adult. For more information, call 217-529-6939.

Christmas with the ICC Philharmonic Chorale (rescheduled from December 12th due to weather) will be presented at the ICC Performing Arts Center on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. Tickets are $7 for adults & $5 for students & senior citizens and are available at the ICC Performing Arts Box Office or by calling 694-5136.

 The Festival of Lights’ FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland takes place from tonight (Thursday) through December 31 at the VFW Post located at 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria. Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sunday – Thursday and  5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. The almost 2-mile drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event.

The Festival of Lights FOLEPI’s Freedom Park runs tonight (Thursday) through December 31 from dusk to 10 pm nightly. Admission is free. Featuring lighted emblems from each branch of the military and lighted displays such as the toy tank and American flag parade floats, also on display will be memorials for East Peorians lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as a memorial for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Festival of Lights Narrated Nativity is open 24 hours a day tonight (Thursday) through December 31. The nativity is located at the Intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, just across from the East Peoria Post Office. Admission is free.

Join the Tazewell County Jaycees for their Monthly Trivia Night beginning at 6:30 pm tonight (Thursday) at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Washington. Cost is $10 per person or $5 per person for Jaycees members. Bring a new toy for Toys for Tots and pay half price. Teams may consist of 2 – 10 people. The winning team receives free pizzas from Monical’s, free play at the next trivia night, and the Tazewell Trivia Traveling Trophy. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater and receive a chance to win a prize.  A portion of this month’s proceeds benefits Toys for Tots. For more information email tazcojaycees@yahoo.com

We Need A Little More Christmas, an original Christmas revue featuring lots of seasonal music and comedy, continues at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield this weekend. Showtimes are tonight (Thursday), Friday & Saturday (doors open at 6 pm, buffet at 6:30 pm, and show at 8 pm) and on Sunday (doors & the buffet open at noon, show is at 1:30 pm). Prices are $30 for Thursdays, $32 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $34 for Saturdays. For more information, call 965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

International award winning sleight of hand artist Mitch Williams brings his unforgettable, mind blowing close up magic to the Whammy Bar in downtown Peoria tonight (Thursday) from 5:30 – 8 pm.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat celebrates its 20th year of production at Eastlight Theatre. Performances continue at 7:30 pm tonight (Thursday), Friday and Saturday and on Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are $17 and are available online at http://tickets.eastlighttheatre.com or by phone at 699-7469.

A Christmas Carol: A Concert Reading will be presented by the Corn Stock Winter Playhouse at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday at the Corn Stock Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students with ID at the Corn Stock Box Office, by calling 676-2196 or online at www.cornstocktheatre.org

Kevin Williams will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club at 8 pm tonight (Thursday) and at 8 and 10:30 pm on Friday & Saturday. Tickets are $13 or $12 with cash except for the Thursday show and the Friday late show which are $11 or $10 with cash and are available at www.jukeboxcomedy.com or by calling 673-5853.

The Luthy Botanical Garden’s Annual Poinsettia Show runs through Friday, December 31st. Regular Conservatory hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5 pm. The Garden is closed on Mondays. Visit the Conservatory, where a tropical collection blends with hundreds of poinsettias to create a wonderland unmatched anywhere in Peoria. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted

Enjoy the Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens featuring the Garden’s Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music from 7 – 9 pm every Friday & Saturday from November 19 – December 18 except on Saturday, December 4. Conservatory admission is waived during the holidays: donations will be accepted.

Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Celtic Christmas” Holiday Cruise on the Spirit of Peoria.  Cruises are Friday evening, on Saturday, there’s a matinee & evening show & on Sunday is a matinee only. Bring all your kin to the party as they connect the ancient tales and songs of Old Ireland with today’s joyous Christmas Traditions.   The matinee cruises board at noon and cruise from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm. The dinner cruises board at 6:30 pm and cruise from 7-9 pm. Admission for the matinee cruise including lunch is $36 for adults, $18 for kids 4-12 and free for infants. Admission for the dinner cruise is $40 for adults, $20 for kids aged 4-12 and free for infants. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 637-8000 or visiting www.spiritofpeoria.com

Enjoy a Holiday Shop & Stroll at Forest Park Nature Center on Friday with a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries and live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, hot wassail and homemade goodies. Musical guests are River City Bluegrass Society from 6 – 7:15 pm and Turas (traditional Irish music) from 7:15 – 8:30 pm . Purchase unique artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale or shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are appreciated.

The Annual Nutcracker Show featuring Sick Puppies, 10 Years, Smile Empty Soul, Taddy Porter & Mindset Evolution will play Expo Gardens located on Northmoor Road in Peoria on Friday beginning at 5 pm. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Radioplex located at 120 Eaton Street in downtown Peoria or online at www.1057thexrocks.com or at the door.

Live at the Five Spot is the Contemporary Art Center’s music event that runs Friday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 pm featuring the best regional talent performing jazz, blues and more. This week will feature Doc Rodgers and the Rock Dodgers. Admission for members is $7, nonmembers are $10.

The Waterhouse presents Howlin’ on Water: Dueling Pianos on Friday beginning with dinner at 6:30 pm and the show at 8 pm. The dinner buffet and show package is $33 per person plus a limited number of seats available for the show only at $13 per person. A full bar is available all night. Call 494-9100 to reserve your spot.

Christmas at Wildlife – Polar Express Experience will take place this weekend at Wildlife Prairie State Park. Admission is $17 for adults, $15 for ages through 14, $6.50 for members aged 14 and above and $5 members under 14 and free for ages 1 and under.

The Bethany Fellowship of Churches will host their annual holiday choral worship experience: A Community Christmas this weekend. Performances will take place at Five Points Performing Arts Center in Washington on Friday beginning at 7 pm, at Bethany Baptist Church in Washington on Saturday at 2 pm & 6 pm and at Living Hope Community Church in Bartonville on Sunday at 6 pm. Admission is free to the public, however ticket must be reserved at http://www.acommunitychristmas.com

The Prairie Wind Ensemble will perform a winter concert beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday at the ICC Performing Arts Center in East Peoria. Hear holiday favorites as well as Alto Sax soloist Robert Sibbing, Ticheli’s “Nitro,” Grainer’s “Hill Song,” and Stravinsky’s “Firebird Suite.” Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for students & senior citizens. Tickets are available at the ICC Performing Arts Box office or by calling 694-5136.

Acaharmodies! presents The Christmas Chronicles.  Enjoy the professional sounds of this a capella group with your family at University United Methodist Church on Friday at 7:30 pm, at ICC’s Performing Arts Center on Saturday at 7:30 pm and at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in downtown Peoria on Sunday at 2 pm. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and senior citizens and are available online at www.acaharmodies.com Children 5 & under are free.

The Irving Berlin classic, White Christmas, will be presented by Peoria Players Theatre beginning at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday plus matinees at 1:30 pm on Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for patrons 18 & under and are available at the Peoria Players Box Office, by calling 688-4473 or online at www.peoriaplayers.org

Body Fitness presents The Salsa Exchange on Friday night from 9 pm until midnight at Body Fitness located at 3020 N University in Peoria. Admission is $3 per person. For more information, call 282-6212 or visit www.fitndance.com
On Saturday, they’ll host their 6th Annual Christmas Gala, featuring hors d’oeuvres and dancing from 7 pm – midnight. Cost is $12 single, $20 couple prepaid or $15 per person at the door.

“Mr. St. Jude” Jim Maloof will be signing copies of his new book, Go Help the Children & God Help You, on Saturday from 10 am – Noon at Hoerr’s Berean Bookstore in Evergreen Plaza. The memoirs of the former Peoria mayor will be released that day; only 2,000 copies are available. Call 309-685-5995 for more information.

The Peoria Art Guild will presents its 2010 Artists’ Gift Show on Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm at the Art Guild located at the Foster Center for the Arts featuring 20 regional artists in a diverse and affordable assortment of art work. Choose from glass, ceramic, jewelry and other gift items. Admission is free. For more information, call 309-637-2787 Ext. 2.

The Peoria Mustangs will take on Flint at Owens Center beginning at 6:45 pm on Saturday & 1:15 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $5 and free for kids 3 & under.

The Peoria Rivermen will take on the Grand Rapids Griffins at the Peoria Civic Center Arena on Saturday beginning at 7:05 pm. The first 2500 fans in attendance will receive a free Michel Mongeau Canvas. Tickets range from $10 to $25 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office, by calling 676-1040, at any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com

Richwoods High School Choral Department will present its annual Madrigal Dinner beginning at 6:30 pm on Saturday and Sunday at the high school. The 5-course dinner is $24 and tickets are available at the Richwoods Main Office and must be purchased in advance. For more information, call 693-4400.

Peoria Ballet presents The Nutcracker at the Peoria Civic Center Theater at 7:30 pm on Saturday & 2 pm on Sunday, featuring live music supplied by the Heartland Festival Orchestra. Ticket prices range from $9 – $42 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, at all Ticketmaster outlets, by calling 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

The Murray Center for the Arts will host its eighth annual Holiday Open House on Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. Fifteen resident artists will open the doors to their studios located at at 100 Walnut Street in Peoria. The event is open to the public. Painting, sculpture, pastels, ceramics, printmaking, photography, glass and more will be on display and for sale. The event is free.

Christmas with the ICC Philharmonic Chorale will be presented at the ICC Performing Arts Center on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults & $5 for students & senior citizens and are available at the ICC Performing Arts Box Office or by calling 694-5136.

The Annual Sing It Yourself Messiah will take place beginning at 2:30 pm Sunday at St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral located on War Memorial Drive. Admission is free, however a free-will offering will be taken. For more information, call 688-3436.

 The 32nd Annual Morton Community Bank Christmas Sing will take place at the Bank located at 721 West Jackson St. in Morton, with cookies, coffee and punch beginning at 5 pm tonight (Thursday) with singing from 5:30 to 6:30 pm.

The Annual Festival of Trees will take place at Expo Gardens tonight (Thursday) with a Jingle & Mingle Kick Off Cocktail Party on Thursday from 5:30 – 8:30 pm with hors d’oeuvres, music by Preston Jackson & Friends plus a first look at all the trees for $25. The event then runs Friday & Saturday from 10 am – 8 pm and on Sunday from 10 am – 5 pm. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for kids & senior citizens and kids 2 & under are free. All proceeds benefit Crittenton Centers. For more information, call 309-674-0105.

We Need A Little More Christmas, an original Christmas revue featuring lots of seasonal music and comedy, continues at the Barn 2 Dinner Theatre in Goodfield this weekend. Showtimes are tonight (Thursday, Friday & Saturday (doors open at 6 pm, buffet at 6:30 pm, and show at 8 pm) and on Sunday (doors & the buffet open at noon, show is at 1:30 pm). Prices are $30 for Thursdays, $32 for Fridays and Sunday brunch and $34 for Saturdays. For more information, call 965-2545 or go to www.barn2.com

International award winning sleight of hand artist Mitch Williams brings his unforgettable, mind blowing close up magic to the Whammy Bar in downtown Peoria tonight (Thursday) from 5:30 – 8 pm.

Pauly Shore will perform at the Jukebox Comedy Club this weekend at 8 pm tonight (Thursday) and on Friday & Saturday at 8 & 10:30 pm. Tickets are $21 or $20 with cash except for the Thursday show and $26 or $25 with cash for the Friday & Saturday night shows are available at www.jukeboxcomedy.com or by calling 309-673-5853.

Legally Blonde: The Musical will be held at the Peoria Civic Center Theater tonight (Thursday) at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $39, $52 and $61 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com  Citylink is offering a Park & Ride for this event:  see ad to left for details.

The Luthy Botanical Garden’s Annual Poinsettia Show runs through Friday, December 31st. Regular Conservatory hours are Tuesday-Saturday from 10 am – 7 pm and Sundays from 12 – 5 pm. The Garden is closed on Mondays. Visit the Conservatory, where a tropical collection blends with hundreds of poinsettias to create a wonderland unmatched anywhere in Peoria. Conservatory admission will be waived during the holidays, although donations are always accepted

Enjoy the Candlelight Walks at Luthy Botanical Gardens featuring the Garden’s Poinsettia Show at night, under the warm glow of hundreds of candles, while enjoying live performances of holiday music from 7 – 9 pm on Friday night. Conservatory admission is waived during the holidays: donations will be accepted.

Join Barry Cloyd and Brian “Fox” Ellis as Prairie Folklore Theatre celebrates the Spirit of the Holidays on the Spirit of Peoria with “A Celtic Christmas” Holiday Cruise on the Spirit of Peoria on Friday & Saturday with a lunch matinee & dinner cruise each day. Bring all your kin to the party as they connect the ancient tales and songs of Old Ireland with today’s joyous Christmas Traditions.   The matinee cruises board at noon and cruise from 12:30 pm – 2:30 pm. The dinner cruises board at 6:30 pm and cruise from 7-9 pm. Admission for the matinee cruise including lunch is $36 for adults, $18 for kids 4-12 and free for infants. Admission for the dinner cruise is $40 for adults, $20 for kids aged 4-12 and free for infants. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 637-8000 or visiting www.spiritofpeoria.com

Eureka College Chamber Singers’ 22nd Annual Renaissance Christmas Dinner will be held at 6 pm on Friday and Saturday in the Cerf Center. Cost is $25 for adults and $13 for ages 12 and younger. Call 467-6407 for reservations.

Live at the Five Spot is the Contemporary Art Center’s music event that runs Friday nights from 5:30 – 7:30 pm featuring regional talent performing jazz, blues and more. This week will feature Dorann and the Soul Mystics. Admission for members is $7, nonmembers are $10.
Salsa at CAC is a Latin Dance Event on Friday night beginning with a dance lesson from 8:30 – 9:30 followed by open dancing to DJ Ed Caballero until 12:30 am. Admission is $3 for CAC Members, and $6 for nonmembers.
The 6th Annual Scarf It Up! Scarf Auction & Fashion Show will be held at the Contemporary Art Center in downtown Peoria on Sunday from 2:30 – 4:30 pm featuring unique handmade scarves. Enjoy dessert while watching the fashion show of some of the best scarves. Admission is $7 for members and $10 for non-members and children age 16 and under are free.

The Waterhouse presents Howlin’ on Water: Dueling Pianos on Friday and Saturday beginning with dinner at 6:30 pm and the show at 8 pm. The dinner buffet and show package is $33 per person plus a limited number of seats available for the show only at $13 per person. A full bar is available all night. Call 309-494-9100 to reserve your spot

Bradley University Theatre Department will present “New Faces” at Hartmann Center on the Bradley campus at 7 pm on Friday and 2 pm & 7 pm on Saturday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students. For more information and to order tickets, call 309-677-2650.

The Pekin Christmas on Court Luminary Walk will feature over 1,000 candlelight luminaries that will bathe downtown Pekin with a warm, festive glow for this early evening Business Open House on Friday from 5 – 8 pm featuring strolling carolers, horse-drawn carriage rides, outdoor theatre and photos with Santa. For more information, call 309-353-3100.

The Festival of Lights’ FOLEPI’s Winter Wonderland takes place Friday through December 31 at the VFW Post 2078 Park off Springfield Road in East Peoria located at 123 Par 3 Lane in East Peoria. Hours are 5 – 9 pm Sunday – Thursday and 5 – 11 pm on Friday and Saturday. The almost 2-mile drive-through electric park is the Festival of Lights’ signature event.

The Festival of Lights FOLEPI’s Freedom Park runs this Friday through December 31 from dusk to 10 pm nightly. Admission is free. Featuring lighted emblems from each branch of the military and lighted displays such as the toy tank and American flag parade floats, also on display will be memorials for East Peorians lost in World War I, World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam War, as well as a memorial for the Military Order of the Purple Heart.

The Festival of Lights Narrated Nativity is open 24 hours a day beginning on Friday through December 31. The nativity is located at the Intersection of Taylor Street and Springfield Road, just across from the East Peoria Post Office. Admission is free.

A Grace Family Christmas will be presented by Grace Presbyterian Church this weekend featuring a 50 piece orchestra, a 130 voice choir, youth choirs, the Celtic Cross Pipe & Drum Corps and the Dunlap High School Drumline at their facility located at 8607 N State Route 91 in Peoria. Performance times are Friday & Saturday at 7 pm and Sunday at 4 pm. Reserved tickets are $10 with limited seating available. Cal 309-693-3641 Ext. 496 for more information.

The Wonder of Christmas with the Peoria Pops will perform Friday at the Caterpillar Performing Arts Center at Five Points in Washington beginning at 7 pm. Tickets are $15 for adults, $12 for seniors aged 62+ and $12 for students. Group discounts for 10 or more are also available. For more information and to order tickets, call 309-444-8222.

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat will celebrate its 20th year of production at Eastlight Theatre with performances at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday and on Sunday at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $17 and are available online at http://tickets.eastlighttheatre.com or by phone at 309-699-7469.

A Christmas Carol: A Concert Reading will be presented by the Corn Stock Winter Playhouse at 7:30 pm Friday and Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday at the Corn Stock Theatre Center. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students with ID at the Corn Stock Box Office, by calling 309-676-2196 or online at www.cornstocktheatre.org

TazWood Dance Company will present it’s winter concert “Dance! Dance! Dance!” at the ICC Performing Arts Center beginning at 7:30 pm on Friday & Saturday and at 2:30 pm on Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students & senior citizens and are available at the ICC Box Office or by calling 309-694-5136. For more information, visit www.ArtsAtICC.com

Comedian Bill Maher will perform at the Peoria Civic Center Theater beginning Friday at 8 pm. Tickets are $41.50, $51.50 and $61.50 and are available at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 and online at Ticketmaster.com

Enjoy a Holiday Shop & Stroll at Forest Park Nature Center on Friday night from 6 – 8:30 pm with a nighttime stroll on a forest path lit with luminaries and live holiday music, storytelling and caroling, hot wassail and homemade goodies. Purchase unique artwork from the Nature Art Show & Sale or shop for eco-friendly, organic and Fair Trade items at the Trailhead Nature Store. Admission is free, however donations are appreciated.

The 2010 Jingle Bell Run/Walk will take place at the RiverPlex in downtown Peoria on Saturday with registration beginning at 8 am and the run/walk beginning at 10 am. Get in the spirit this holiday season at the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run/Walk for Arthritis. Fees are $30 on the day of the event. For more information, visit www.jinglebellpeoria.com

A Holiday Artisan Market will be held on Saturday from 10 am – 3 pm at the Cornerstone Building located at 321 NE Madison Avenue in Peoria. The event will feature one-of-a-kind gifts from about 20 local artists and a holiday ornament auction with proceeds benefitting the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Call 309-680-2222 for more information.

Enjoy Christmas at the Zoo with Breakfast with Santa in the Peoria Zoo lodge on Saturday morning from 9 – 11 am. Admission is $5 for members and $10 for non-members. For more information, call 309-686-3365.

The 27th Annual “Knight Before Christmas”, the annual Craft Show fundraiser sponsored by the Richwoods High School cheerleaders, will take place Saturday from 9 am – 3 pm at the school. Over 200 crafters will be on hand with great holiday gifts & decorations. For more information, call the school at 309-693-4400.

Speakeasy Art Center in Pekin will host its Holiday Bazaar at their location at 353 Court Street from 10 am – 4 pm on Saturday & Noon – 4 pm on Sunday. You’ll find jewelry, photos, paintings and more available just in time for the holidays. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/speakeasyartcenter

The Junior League of Peoria will host its annual Victorian Christmas Tea at the historic Ballance-Herschel House this weekend. During tea times, guests will learn about the history of the Balance-Herschel House and several different Christmas traditions while being served lunch and listening to Christmas music played by a local harpist. In addition there will be vendors located upstairs for a holiday marketplace. Two tea times are scheduled for Saturday at 11 am and 2 pm. Tickets are $18 per person.  Also, don’t miss Cocoa with Santa on Sunday between 2 – 5pm. Join Santa at the Junior League of Peoria headquarters for cocoa and cookies. Bring your cameras as Santa will be posing for pictures. The holiday marketplace will also be open for all to enjoy. Reservations for Cocoa with Santa are available but not required. Ticket price is $5 per child in advance or at the door. For questions or tickets, call 309-685-9312. For more information visit www.juniorleagueofpeoria.org

Jinglin’ Jazz at Luthy Botanical Gardens will begin at 6:30 pm on Saturday where you can sit back and enjoy the music and the atmosphere of the Poinsettia Show. Hors d’oeuvres and specialty wines will be served at the event also. Attendees must be over 21. Cost is $20 in advance for Garden members and $25 in advance for non-members. There will be a cash bar. Limited to 80 guests: call 309-686-3362 to purchase tickets.

The Peoria Mustangs will take on Quad Cities at Owens Center beginning at 6:45 pm on Saturday & 1:15 pm on Sunday. Tickets for both games are $5 and free for kids 3 & under.

The Bradley Braves will take on Utah at the Peoria Civic Center (Carver) Arena Saturday beginning at 7:05 pm. Tickets are $8, $12 & $20 and are available beginning November 1 at the Peoria Civic Center Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, by phone at 1-800-745-3000 or online at Ticketmaster.com  Citylink is offering a Park & Ride for this event:  see ad to left for details.

The Orpheus Club Winter Concert will be held at the United Presbyterian Church located at 2400 W. Northmoor Road on Sunday beginning at 3 pm. The club will present a 2 hour musical program of male four part harmony Christmas carols, songs & old time favorites. Tickets are $5 per person and are available at the door. For more information, call 562-7301

The Peoria Rivermen will take on the Milwaukee Admirals at the Peoria Civic Center (Carver) Arena on Sunday beginning at 5:05 pm. Season tickets are also available: call 676-1040 for more information and to order. Individual tickets range from $10 to $25 and are available at the Civic Center Box Office, by calling 676-1040, at any Ticketmaster outlet or online at Ticketmaster.com

The Festival of Lights Historic Holiday Traditions tours will take place on Sunday from 1-4 pm and 6 – 8 pm (evening by candlelight) at the Doering Homeplace located at 326 Pekin Ave. in East Peoria. Admission is free. The 130-year-old Doering Homeplace provides a unique look back in time during open houses sponsored by the East Peoria Historical Society occurring as part of the East Peoria Festival of Lights. Holiday decorations will include 1800s-style handmade ornaments. Groups wishing to tour the historic home at times other than the open houses, for a fee, must call 309-699-6635 to make an appointment.