What’s the best-kept secret in central Illinois?
It never ceases to amaze me… For all the years we’ve been publishing, there are still things about this region I’m not familiar with. That was made clear yet again as I read the story in this issue about Rocky Glen, Peoria’s newest park. I’ve been to Starved Rock, of course, but little did I know, there was a “mini-Starved Rock” right here in our own backyard. Thanks to the efforts of the Friends of Rocky Glen, along with the City of Peoria and Peoria Park District, the public can now view this marvel of nature for itself. Read all about it in this issue!
How about a local gift for the person who has everything? Scattered amongst the galleries and studios of Peoria lies another creative haven for a group of artists who are often overlooked. That would be the nearly two dozen animal artists at the Peoria Zoo, who put their paws, tails, claws and scales to canvas to create the vibrant abstract paintings that hang in the Safari Gift Shop at the Barton Pavilion, which opened last summer. Check out these cute critters!
Meanwhile, attendance at the zoo has more than doubled since the opening of the Africa! exhibit in 2009, with more great things on the horizon! The Power of Play campaign, a collaboration between the Junior League of Peoria and Peoria Zoological Society, has been working hard to bring a children’s museum to the pavilion building adjacent to the zoo, and I’m certain we will be hearing about progress on that front in the near-future. Stay tuned at powerofplaypeoria.org.
Summertime is here! Among other things, that means al fresco dining in the Heights and elsewhere, perhaps with a pitcher of sangria? Get out the grill and put that recipe on page six to good use… or make up your own!
And don’t forget to check out one of the dozen or so art galleries and studios that open up to the public on the first Friday of every month. If you haven’t attended this fabulous event, you might be surprised at all the creativity bubbling up in this town! Visit ciaopeoria.com for a list of venues, and consider planning your itinerary for July 5th and August 2nd.
What do you think is this region’s best-kept secret? Find us on Facebook and let us know, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. a&s