Five Points Washington is a unique complex encompassing an aquatic center, fitness center, community library, banquet facility and a performing arts theater—a hub of community for Washington, Illinois and the entire region. The Live @ Five Points Event Center comprises two of those five points—the banquet facility and Caterpillar Performing Arts Theater—offering attractions for every taste and space that’s perfect for all kinds of special events. Live @ Five Points launched a new season of entertainment earlier this summer, and we sat down with Shae Harris, sales & marketing manager, to learn more.
What makes Live @ Five Points a unique attraction in central Illinois?
Live @ Five Points houses the events and shows offered in our 1,020-seat Caterpillar Performing Arts Theater and 7,000-square-foot banquet/event space. We offer small-town charm with big-city entertainment. We have ample free parking, concessions and bar service, an award-winning staff, great ambiance, and an impressive space for live music and comedy, Broadway-style shows, wedding ceremonies and receptions, business meetings and conventions, and other special events. Having the theater and banquet space together allows for a lot of diverse options. Plus, we are easy to get to—and only 10 minutes from Peoria! We are lucky to have one of the larger theaters in all of central Illinois.
Tell us about the 2019-2020 entertainment series. What shows and events can we look forward to?
We kicked off the 2019-2020 season with our Summer Jam Music Festival for St. Jude Runs back in July, and in August we had an award-winning group from Las Vegas named “The Rat Pack is Back!” The crowd really enjoyed the performers portraying Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., and of course, Frank Sinatra. According to many, Dean stole the show! On October 8, we have the United States Air Force Band of Mid-America providing a free show in our theater; however, you still need to register to attend.
On October 26, the theater will present “America’s favorite husband,” Steve Trevino, and his standup comedy show, ‘Til Death. Outside of being a national headliner, Trevino has made memorable appearances on The Late Show, Comics Unleashed and BET’s Comic View, among others. He landed in the Nielsen Top 20 with his first Showtime comedy special, Grandpa Joe’s Son, and his second special, Relatable, is currently on Netflix. Prior to his act, we will feature comedian Melissa Richelle and have a lounge with concessions and bar service.
The next show is The Midtown Men on December 21, featuring the original cast of Broadway’s Jersey Boys, with an optional pre-show meal, bar service, refreshments and concessions. They provide holiday hits with some of the great music of the ’60s mixed in. This could be a great holiday gift, family outing, date night, girls’ night or group outing. We have room for bus groups, too! Why not enjoy the Festival of Lights in East Peoria and then the holiday show at Five Points?
We have an exciting musical artist in January. Stay tuned for the announcement! In February, we host an event called “Cabin Fever,” which features local favorite Jammsammich. Guests bring in snacks to their tables, and we provide the bar service. It’s a fun night of dancing and a great night out. Jammsammich announced recently that they are slowing down their scheduled musical events, and we are thankful they will be here.
April will have some family-friendly events with Buckets N Boards and the Princess Ball. Buckets N Boards is a comedy percussion show—the most requested show for the Disney Cruise Line. The Princess Ball allows your little ones to come in princess attire and enjoy an afternoon with dessert, punch, crafts, storytime, dancing and a princess meet-and-greet.
Also included in Live @ Five Points is our Morning Movie Series on the third Tuesday of every other month. The next movies are Sleepless in Seattle on October 15 and Miracle on 34th Street on December 17. They are free for seniors, 62 years and older; we provide concessions and refreshments.
Don’t miss the other shows and events offered at Five Points—including performances by the Heartland Festival Orchestra, Peoria Area Civic Chorale, Peoria Ballet, Peoria Pops Orchestra and Gospelfest. These wonderful groups have called us home for many years. Washington Community High School’s Drama Club also provides two performances each year in our theater—quality shows that we recommend as a great family outing.
What has been the reception from the community so far?
Being our first season, we are in the growing stages of branding and getting the word out, but things are going very well. The community is starting to understand what we can offer, and the entire Tri-County area should look to us for things to do and see. We have launched our Live @ Five Points Facebook and Instagram pages to publicize our shows and events, and our website keeps all our upcoming events together in one place.
I have heard from many people who really enjoyed the entertainment and were impressed with the facility and the ease of getting in and out of the venue. We are seeing new faces as well as longtime supporters. People are still seeking entertainment and finding “something to do,” and we are excited to be a part of it.
Tell us about the Sneak Peek Club and the Raise the Curtain campaign.
The Sneak Peek Club offers additional perks and allows people to be the first to learn about tickets, VIP options, special offers and more. It’s a fun way to be part of the Live @ Five Points club and stay even more connected. Eventually, we will offer a Live @ Five Points Series subscription, and this group will get the first pick at seats and offers.
Raise the Curtain is an effort to increase the availability of exceptional performing arts in central Illinois. We are seeking to raise funds for essential equipment and updates in order to make that happen. It is a seat-naming campaign—a once-in-a lifetime opportunity to celebrate your family, friends, business or the memory of a loved one by naming a seat in our Caterpillar Performing Arts Center.
What lies ahead for the Live @ Five Points series?
Our goal is to continue to brand an exceptional product. We want to collaborate with other artists and create a unique experience. We want to provide a unique business meeting and seminar space that allows guests to leave energized. We are partnering with individuals in the community who will be advocates for our new initiatives and are excited to see the plan come to fruition. We want our engaged couples to fall in love with the venue for all it can provide for their special day. We want our audiences to be excited to see a great show in a comfortable setting. We want our theater to be filled with eventgoers smiling, laughing and truly enjoying every element of the experience. We want central Illinois and beyond to look to Five Points as another great venue to provide them with outstanding attractions.
We have renovations coming up that will enhance the eventgoer experience and some wonderful things planned as we move into our next season. We have a new outdoor patio area that will be available for guests to rent out, as well as for our Five Points Friday events. We have small-town charm, big-city entertainment, and we hope to see you soon. PM
Visit fivepointswashington.org for details of the Live @ Five Points Series, to join the Sneak Peek Club or learn more about the Raise the Curtain initiative, or for more information about the facility.