Peoria is a pleasant, small community that is one of the oldest cities in the state. It is a business, industrial, and agricultural center known as the headquarters for Caterpillar, Inc. and the heavy-equipment industry. It is also home to the United States Agricultural Research Laboratory. Consistent with its mainstream Midwestern stereotype, life in Peoria is generally quiet. Downtown is clean and unremarkable but has some new entertainment venues, including a new museum center, civic center and high-rise residential units. The Illinois River waterfront is nice, and attractive older residential areas surround the city in the nearby hills.
The city has more than 9,000 acres of parks, which include the Peoria Zoo, Luthy Botanical Garden and five public golf courses. The Peoria Park District was the city’s first park district and is the largest in the state.
Raise your glass, because the Peoria area is home to three wineries: Mackinaw Valley Winery and Vineyard in Mackinaw, Kickapoo Creek Winery, Inc. in Edwards and Willett’s Winery and Cellar in Manito.
The Peoria Farmers Market at Metro Centre and the Peoria RiverFront Market along the riverfront bring consumers and farmers together. The Peoria Farmers Market runs May through October, while the RiverFront Market runs June through September. Shoppers can choose from a wide variety of local vegetables, fruit, herbs, honey, baked goods, flowers and more.
Construction, mining equipment, engine, industrial turbine and diesel-electric locomotive maker Caterpillar has been headquartered here for almost 90 years. The company employs 125,000 people worldwide, and 23,000 in Illinois.
Celebrate the Season
When summer comes to a close and the air starts to cool, the country tends to go a little pumpkin crazy. One of the best places to celebrate the popular gourd is at the Morton Pumpkin Festival. Morton is the home of Libby’s Pumpkin, and more than 80 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin is processed right here. And when the pumpkins have all been picked and fall colors are replaced with twinkling lights and snow, residents flock to the East Peoria Festival of Lights. The festival begins with the Parade of Lights and continues through December with the Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display, one of the largest lighted festivals in the country.
Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois, established in 1691 by French explorer Henri de Tonti. It was first called Fort Crevecoeur, and was constructed by de Tonti, along with René-Robert Cavelier and Sieur de La Salle. The fort later burned down, and was replaced in 1813 by Fort Clark, which was renamed Peoria when the County of Peoria was established in 1825. Peoria takes its name from the Peoria tribe, and is believed by many to be a derivation of a Proto-Algonquian word meaning “to dream with the help of a Manitou.” The Manitou are spirit beings of the Algonquian tribes. Originally, the tribes numbered in the hundreds, living in New England, the St. Lawrence River area and the Great Lakes region.
This city is no stranger to higher education. Bradley University, Midstate College, Methodist College, OSF St. Francis College of Nursing, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Illinois Central College and Robert Morris University are all located here. In addition, Eureka College and the main campus of Illinois Central College are located in nearby Eureka and East Peoria, respectively.
Peoria City Government Website
Everything you need to know about all of the current goings-on within the city government of Peoria, as well as moving resources for people moving to the city.
Here you’ll find information on how to register your car in the state of Illinois if you’re moving from out of state, and also how to renew your driver’s license, change your address, and get a new Illinois driver’s license.
Ameren provides the city of Peoria with gas and electric services, so this website will be where you can sign up for new service when you move to Peoria.
Peoria Public Works and Utilities
The Peoria Public Works and Utilities Department handles all of the water and sewer, waste collection, and recycling needs for the population of Peoria.
Greater Peoria Mass Transit District
Need to catch a bus or train? Don’t know where to find the airport? The GPMTD should have all the travel and transportation info you need to find your way around the city.
City of Peoria Office of Emergency Services
The best way to be prepared for any kind of disaster, be it natural or man-made, is by finding out all the information you need, and the city’s Office of Emergency Services is one of the best resources for that information.