Fired Up For the Fall

Did IGNITE Peoria fire you up? Held a few weeks ago at the Peoria Civic Center, this first-ever celebration of local creativity was a smashing success by all accounts, with more than 6,300 visitors coming downtown to touch, feel, taste, see and interact with the arts community. Kudos to ArtsPartners, the Civic Center, event coordinator Kathy Chitwood, and the many volunteers, artists and others who have set the stage for an even bigger, better IGNITE in 2015!

Among IGNITE’s objectives was to “inspire innovation,” a rallying cry for anyone looking to succeed in this ever-changing world, whether in business, the arts or elsewhere. Look no further than Peoria’s Jump Trading Simulation & Education Center, which has proclaimed September its first annual Discover Innovation Month.

Throughout the month, Jump will host numerous special events on the topics of innovation and creative thinking. On September 18th, the world-famous Disney Institute will present “Disney's Approach to Creativity & Innovation,” showcasing the creative concepts and practices that have fostered the Walt Disney Company’s tremendous success—and how they can be applied to our own organizations. Visit for event information, and learn more about Disney Institute at

Autumn is always a popular time for special events, and that’s certainly no different this year! The Morton Pumpkin Festival, Pekin’s Marigold Festival and Oktoberfest all take place in September, while in nearby Fulton County, a road trip on the Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive is a fabulous way to take in the changing fall colors. The Peoria Historical Society continues its various trolley tours through the end of October, while Prairie Folklore Theatre returns with its ever-popular Springdale Cemetery Tour.

On September 27th and 28th, the Peoria Art Guild will bring the riverfront to life with its 52nd annual Fine Art Fair, featuring 150 artists from 30 states and four countries. The Peoria Symphony Orchestra and Heartland Festival Orchestra kick off their new seasons this month, while First Fridays continues to gain momentum. Check out our arts calendar for more things to do!

Finally, don’t forget to join us in supporting the fundraising events that are so critical to our many local nonprofits. From the Cook’s Tour and Lobster Roast to the Peoria Promise Gala and many more, there are so many ways you can help make a difference in your community. So have fun, get fired up, do good and be well! a&s