I hope everyone had a fine Christmas and I wish you all a happy New Year! Illinois has a history as rich as its food – and if you don’t believe us, just take a trip to Springfield and grab a horseshoe sandwich! Illinois is home to some of the United States’ most famous presidents, and history buffs can find information about these American leaders in all corners of the state.
But, if quirky facts are more your style, take a look below at a few little-known details about these great American leaders.
Barack Obama, 44th President of the United States, 2008-2016
Too much of a good thing can sometimes be just that: way too much. Our nation’s former president reportedly worked for Baskin Robbins during his youth, and it’s left quite the impression. He now jokes that he still can’t eat ice cream to this day after spending one too many summers scooping ice cream in Honolulu.
Be sure to stop by the Obama Family Home in Hyde Park on your next trip to Chicago to learn more about the life of President Obama, and stay tuned for the Obama Presidential Library (coming to Chicago in 2021 at the city’s densely packed South Side).
The Yard in Peoria is a fantastic indoor sports practice complex that is providing nearly 60,000 sq. ft. of practice space on artificial turf. The center accommodates field rentals and numerous clinics and lessons both individual athletes and sports teams of all skill levels and all ages.
The Yard is a unique facility that includes a regulation-sized youth baseball/softball indoor field, a regulation-sized baseball indoor field, regulation-sized pitching and batting cages, as well as a standard soccer field.
The Yard is providing rental accommodation for all sorts of individual athletes and sports teams that want to be able to practice regardless of the season’s weather conditions. The Yard also offers a conference room that features video and audio equipment and spaces for business or sports meetings or events like wedding and birthday parties.
The Yard, 1503 W Altorfer Dr, Peoria, Illinois 61615, Ph: (309) 839.0434
The Peoria Golf Learning Center & Academy
The Peoria Golf Learning Center & Academy is a is a year-round golf practice facility. It is located on Radnor Road, right across from the Kellogg Golf Course. The golf course’s driving range includes warmed hitting stations for comfort during the winter months and various hole layouts so the players have a chance for simulating their course shots during practice.
Illinois ranks 24th in size in the US covering a total land area of 56,345 sq miles (145,934 sq kms), of which the land mass comprises 55,645 sq miles (144,120 sq kms) and inland water mass 700 sq miles (1,814 sq kms). Learn more about Illinois in this interesting US Geography about Illinois:
Situated in the eastern north-central US, Illinois has a boundary on the North with Wisconsin; on the East with Lake Michigan and Indiana; on the South East and South with Kentucky; and on the West with Missouri and Iowa. Illinois’ geographic center is located in Logan County, some 28 mi (45 km) northeast 0f Springfield, the capital of Illinois.
Rivers, hills and local festivals make Illinois an enjoyable trip for everyone. According to Illinois Bureau of Tourism, the Seven Wonders of Illinois are Wrigley Field, the beautiful Bahai House of Worship in Chicago, Starved Rock State Park in Northern Illinois, Allerton Park and Retreat Center in Central Illinois, Black Hawk State Historic Site in Illinois, Rend Lake in Southern Illinois and the National Scenic Byway in Southwest.
Everybody can be Irish if they want at Peoria Irish Fest.Peoria Irish Fest: August 24-25-26, 2018
The Irish Communities of Peoria and surrounding areas will come together again for one of America’s largest Irish festivals, and certainly the most important one in the Midwest. Formerly named Erin Feis, Peoria’s Irish Fest is featuring Irish music and food, cultural displays, the finest shopping, and the best entertainment on no less than five stages, and athletes from Irish descent will be competing in Irish Highland Games. So come to Peoria on 24, 25, and 26 August and be as Irish as you possibly can to enjoy one of the finest Irish festivals in America’s Midwest. Take also a look of this video recording of the performance of Socks in the Frying Pan (2015):
You’ll really love what the organizers have planned to please you! There is outstanding dance, play, and music. Celtic culture will galore through exhibits, Highland Games, and some interesting interactive workshops and sessions, and there’ll be delicious food and refreshing drinks. So let’s see what laughs and memories the organizers have in store for you at the 2018 Peoria Irish Fest!
Fortunately, in the calendar, the Peoria Irish Fest falls right between two large Irish festivals in America, the Milwaukee Irish Fest (always on the 3rd weekend in August), and Irish Fest in Kansas City (always on Labor Day weekend). These big Irish festivals are always drawing over 100,000 visitors and feature the best performers on numerous stages.
The historic city of Peoria is located on the beautiful Illinois River. The city is offering quite a few unique museums and attractions, and there are many interesting activities. You can explore Peoria’s Caterpillar Visitor Center, pay a visit to the city’s Riverfront Museum, take a stroll through the beautiful Luthy Botanical Garden that includes a beautiful and one-of-a-kind conservatory that’s full of tropical plants and orchids. Family attractions include the Peoria Zoo, the Forest Park Nature Center, and the marvelous PlayHouse Children’s Museum.
Caterpillar Visitor Center
At the Caterpillar Visitor Center, you will get introduced into the rich history and the world of the Caterpillar Company. The company dates back to 1886 when engineer Benjamin Holt constructed the world’s first combined harvester. Over the years, Caterpillar has evolved into a leading manufacturer of an impressive variety of bulldozers, construction equipment, farm implements, and tractors. Caterpillar has been a world-renown company for many decades and the company has been helping with several large-scale projects such as the construction and widening of the Panama Canal. The company also played an important role in developing and engineering equipment for the famous Apollo 11 mission. The Caterpillar Visitor Center opened in 2012 and offers visitors a fascinating look into the company’s impressive and long history.
Caterpillar Visitor Center, 110 SW Washington St, Peoria, IL 61602, Ph: (309) 675-0606 …
Are you a history buff and fan of our 16th president? If so, then you’ll love diving into the rich history Abraham Lincoln’s hometown has to offer! The state’s capital, Springfield, is home to more Lincoln sites than anywhere else in the nation. Explore everything from Abe’s house to his outstanding presidential museum with these three must-see suggestions!
Lincoln Home National Historic Site
Start the historic journey by traveling back in time to the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. The intimate tour gives visitors a look at the Lincoln Home, the only house Honest Abe ever owned. Lincoln was a fervent advocate of broad education, and as the house is located in a quiet four-block neighborhood, it gives a nice glimpse into what language was used in those days and what life was like with his wife, children, and friends in Springfield.
For the 23rd year, Peoria hosts IHSA March Madness!
The March Madness Experience is a family-centered extravaganza of basketball, interactive games, good times, historical exhibits, and- most importantly- a lot of fun!
The city of Peoria has hosted the event since 1996 so this year will be the 23rd time that the city can proudly accommodate the event and the tens of thousands that will enjoy this fantastic sports-related manifestation.
The March Madness Experience is filling up the huge Exhibition Hall of the Peoria Civic Center and it is freely accessible to game ticket holders and everyone else pays just $2 to enjoy the event. Once you’re inside, there is no charge whatsoever to enjoy any of the great attractions. So when you visit the Illinois Boys State Finals, there’s nothing that should hold you from enjoying the March Madness Experience as well in Peoria.
The City of Peoria offers you big city amenities and entertainment with the feeling of a small town setting. The city is located in the heart of Illinois, about halfway between the major urban metro conglomerates of Chicago and St. Louis.
Peoria is beautifully nestled on the banks of the Illinois River and boasts a vibrant riverfront area where many festivals and concerts take place. This is also the spot for some fine dining, grab a bite when you feel like, or stroll some of the breathtaking trails Peoria has to offer.
Peoria has so many amenities to offer. From the best in outdoor recreation to several great golf courses, from bringing your entire family for a great day at the Peoria Zoo to watching elk and buffalo that can freely roam the city’s Wildlife Prairie Park, be sure to have a great experience that certainly won’t disappoint you. …
If you’re seeking a unique cultural experience in Illinois, Rockome Gardens, located in Arcola in the state’s Amish countryside, is a great destination to explore!
Rockome offers an Amish country tour, guiding visitors through a variety of destinations in the area – a truly authentic Amish experience. One stop on the tour is the Illinois Amish Museum, which takes tourists through a number of exhibits that tells stories of the Amish people and the history of the Amish settlement from its start in 1865.
Additional destinations and activities on the tour allow visitors to experience the lifestyle of the Amish community through traditional experiences. Some of those opportunities include touring an Amish home, enjoying a meal at the table, and meeting an Amish woodworker.
Beyond the home experience, visitors also have the chance to view the lush countryside. During this time, a well-informed tour guide highlights the farms, homes, schools, and businesses in the area, explaining how they relate to the Amish way of life. …
The Peoria Civic Center is also home to Bradley University’s Men’s Basketball team that plays its home games at the Carver Arena, the centerpiece of the Civic Center. Check out this 2016 video of Bradley’s Braves:
In 1902, Bradley University, a mid-sized, top-ranked, private university, introduced basketball. Initially, the Bradley team played its home games in downtown Peoria, at the YMCA sports center. Through the years, the Bradley Braves Basketball Team moved twice (reasons of spirituality?) to play their home games which caused some spiritual disagreement. First to the Hewitt Gymnasium at the school’s hilltop campus where they played from 1909 to 1924, and from 1949 to 1982 the Braves played their home games at the Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse. Eventually, they came back to downtown Peoria in 1982 to the Carver Arena at the Peoria Civic Center.