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Pools, Sports, And (Maybe) Concerts: Peoria Park District Plans Full Summer Of Activities

Peoria PlayHouse
Tim Shelley / WCBU

With Illinois entering the so-called "bridge" phase of Gov. JB Pritzker's COVID-19 reopening plan, the Peoria Park District is preparing for a full slate of summer activities and events.

"We are taking a different philosophy this summer, in light of what we have been through," said park district executive director Emily Cahill. "And we're bringing programming to our local neighborhoods, to our residents in order to support them, but start to get back to whatever that new normal looks like."

The park district is introducing new activities, like a mobile beer tap, and new programming that will rotate between neighborhood parks. That's in addition to the usual summer mainstays.

"Right now, we are planning for a summer of swimming, a summer of sports. Golf, on a beautiful day like this, golf is fantastic. So all of those things you know traditionally as the park district, our plan is to have all of those things up and running," Cahill said.

That also means job opportunities, including for teenagers. Peoria Park District lifeguards start out at $13 an hour. Cahill said the park district also is trying to refill other part- and full-time positions.

"Our push right now is on some of those summer jobs, but we do have full-time jobs available, as well," she said.

Peoria PlayHouse 2
Tim Shelley / WCBU
Rebecca Shulman, director of the Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum, gives a tour of the venue, which is fully reopening on May 28.

The Peoria PlayHouse Children's Museum reopens to the general public on May 28. Previously, it was open for rentals only.

Cahill said the park district also is optimistic about bringing back some riverfront activities, including live music.

"We are working with our volunteer partners to look at those cultural festivals in the fall," Cahill said. "Until then, we are looking at some concert opportunities. Actually, two weeks from now, we're going to host a three-on-three basketball tournament on the riverfront for kids grades 3-8. And we're really excited to be able to have that kind of programming happen again, especially in Peoria."

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