The 32nd annual Old Town Holiday Festival and third Second Saturdays take place Saturday, Dec. 14. Two large Peoria events come together for a night of free holiday fun in Old Town Peoria 5-10 p.m., near 83rd and Grand avenues.
The city of Peoria moved the Old Town Holiday Festival to a new night. It is now on a Saturday evening instead of Friday to avoid scheduling conflicts and rush hour traffic. The event is also later in the month of December instead of right after Thanksgiving Day, adding to the holiday atmosphere.
Attendees can stroll through the historic streets of Old Town Peoria with sweaters and hot cocoa and experience a variety of live entertainment and festivities. Residents can catch a matinee performance of “A Christmas Carol” at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive, and still have time to enjoy the festival. Tickets to “A Christmas Carol” available at theaterworks.org.
Included in the festival will be inflatables, roaming high school choirs from Peoria, a crafters’ market, an award-winning gingerbread house display, holiday photo opportunities, live performances from local musicians and dancers, food trucks, and a gourmet pop-up restaurant featuring a kids menu.
The highlights of the evening will be a tree lighting ceremony in Osuna Park, 10510 N. 83rd Ave., and a visit from Santa Claus. Every year, members of the Peoria city council gather with residents to turn on the Christmas lights on the biggest tree in the park at 7:15 p.m.
Activity wristbands cost $5 and photos with Santa are $5. Tickets to the pop-up restaurant will be $30 (plus event fees) for adults and $7 for kids. Seating is limited.