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Peoria Park District And Local Organizations Cancel Several Riverfront Events

Peoria Art Guild

The Peoria Park District, in conjunction with the respective local organizations, canceled several of this year's Riverfront events as restrictions on crowd sizes and other social distancing guidlines continue to stay in place.

This includes CEFCU's Thursday Night Jazz Series, Fiesta en el Rio, India Fest, Peoria Irish Fest, and the River City Soul Fest.

Nick Conrad is the Peoria Park District's Supervisor of Riverfront Events. 
“All of our partners and us collectively came to those decisions on those events," he said.  "We really worked together and all of the groups were on the same page. So it really was a collective decision.”

Conrad explained their priority is to value and ensure everyone’s safety, including attendees, volunteers, and staff. He added it was important to the Peoria Park District to make this decision collectively with a number of the cultural festivals and other groups so they could eliminate confusion.Conrad said the Peoria Park District is exploring smart, safe, and fiscally responsible ways to continue to keep its patrons and volunteers engaged this year.

The Peoria Art Guild's Fine Art Fair is another Riverfront event that's been canceled this year. Shannon Cox, Executive Director of the Peoria Art Guild, said the organization is dedicated to the event, and she remains positive while looking ahead to next year.

“We’ve done it for 57 years in Peoria, and for many years on the Riverfront," she said. "So we’ll keep going and we’ll do it in 2021. Hopefully it’ll be back to normal by then."Cox explained there were many variables that lead to the Fine Art Fair's cancellation. Planning was delayed due to COVID-19, there were complications with sponsorships, and there were fewer applications than normal.

Cox added the guild is looking for ways to engage people who would have attended this year. This could include a virtual event or community contest, she said.

Whatever it is, they’ll celebrate, she said. It just won’t be in the same way, but they’ll stay positive and keep moving forward.
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