Publisher's Note

I "Heart" Peoria

After a bout of unseasonably cool and rainy weather, I was thankful for blue skies and looking for fun things to do outside. On several evenings, I found myself sitting outside Seven on Prospect or on the Country Club terrace, enjoying a glass of wine and the company of friends. I’ve also been taking golf lessons and practicing on several of the driving ranges around town—but I can only imagine how it would be to play like our own Rick LeHew, seven-time Peoria Men’s City Champion and perhaps the finest golfer in central Illinois.

A conversation about sailing with Al Covington, a longtime IVY Club member and sailor, led to this month’s story on that topic and made me wonder if I should put the sport on my “bucket list.” It sounds like a fascinating and fun activity…but do I need to learn how to swim first? I’d hoped to have had an opportunity to go sailing in May, but the never-ending rain thwarted that option. The Illinois River was closed to recreational use for most of the month—even over Memorial Day weekend, one of the most popular times of the year to set sail. I will have to make up for lost time in July and August!

The running community in Peoria is pretty amazing, as you probably know. In this issue, we take a look at the Illinois Valley Striders, an organization committed to enhancing the running environment in the region and the community as a whole. For a mid-sized Midwestern town, Peoria has an unusual number of high-profile events for walkers and runners of all ages and skill levels. The internationally known Steamboat Classic, Race for the Cure and St. Jude Memphis to Peoria Run are the most prominent, joining dozens of other races and walks for various charitable causes, and the Striders are intimately involved in nearly all of them.

I plan most of my travel getaways for the cooler months, as there is so much to enjoy in central Illinois in the summer. The Fourth of July is one of my favorites! The Methodist Red White & Boom! is the biggest show in downstate Illinois and among the top five percent in the nation. In recent years, the celebration has expanded to include three days of festivities, with nationally known musical acts taking to the stage on the 2nd and 3rd to help usher in America’s birthday. New this year, the Prairie Air Show will present a thrilling display of airplane acrobatics preceding the fireworks, warming up for their full-blown show the following weekend.

For two weeks, area businesses will offer special opportunities to save money on leisure and entertainment activities in the area. The “Methodist Stay and Play Fourth of July” will feature discounts on activities through the Peoria Park District, Peoria Chiefs baseball, the Peoria Zoo, restaurants, golf and hotel stays from June 29th to July 12th. Visit for a list of what to do. And don’t forget to check out our calendar of events!

We love Peoria in the summer! a&s