It was a perfect Independence Day for the 45th Annual West Peoria Fourth of July Parade. Neighbors, friends and visitors gathered on the sidewalks making a mosaic of red, white and blue while waiting to enjoy the longest running Independence Day parade in Illinois. Sponsored by the West Peoria Lions Club and Boy Scout Troop & Pack No. 11, over 90 entries of various themes made their way along the parade route. The Clonmel Marching Band from Ireland and the Manual Marching Rams Drumline filled the air with music and rhythm as floats, fire trucks and many walking groups brought cheers and applause from the crowd.
The honor of Grand Marshall went to John Deal, a long time resident and businessman of West Peoria. John is a supporter of West Peoria community organizations and their activities. Congratulations to this year’s winners: Best of Show, Community Children’s Theatre; Service Organization, Illinois Valley Fuller Center Housing; Most Patriotic, Greater Peoria Honor Flight; Youth, St. Marks School. Much appreciation and thanks to Mark Wrhel and his committee for their hours of work organizing the parade and to all the volunteers who helped make the Independence Day Fourth of July Parade a successful event.
The 15th annual Night Out Against Crime will be held 3 to 5:30 p.m. Sept. 5 at the Franciscan Park. All West Peoria residents are invited. Night Out is sponsored by the West Peoria Neighborhood Watch, City of West Peoria, West Peoria Township, the Peoria County Sheriff’s Department, Franciscan Recreation Complex and the Travelers Protective Association. Special events include a bicycle rodeo and a drawing for a bicycle for children ages 4 – 12 who have completed the bicycle rodeo. There will be a canine demonstration by the Peoria County Sheriff’s Canine Unit, and displays will include a bearcat armored vehicle, fire trucks and much more. There will be music by Nut & Honey, gate prizes, hot dogs and Sno-cones. And fun at the dunk tank. Everyone in West Peoria is encouraged to show their support for a safe community. Remember, lights on mean lights out for crime! Residents are encouraged to turn on their porch lights in support of the Night Out – Light up West Peoria on Saturday, September 5.
The Beautification Committee has not had a watering problem this season, just weeds!
The committee worked many hours weeding, deadheading and placing American flags in various areas in honor of Independence Day. The Beauty Award will be presented on Sept. 17 at the West Peoria Residents’ Association meeting to the neighbor with the most improved and landscaped yard. Entry forms can be picked up and dropped off at City Hall and Haddad’s Market. Help keep West Peoria Beautiful by keeping a neat lawn and storing waste cans out of view.
Lt. Molleck, Director of Peoria County Sheriff’s Emergency Management Agency, was the speaker at the West Peoria Neighborhood Watch July meeting. Lt. Molleck has put an organized program in place to insure an orderly evacuation of citizens of disaster and to secure the area from criminal pilferage. The Red Cross, Fire Departments, Peoria County Police and specially trained volunteers respond immediately in a disaster emergency. Lt. Molleck stressed the importance of having a home emergency plan and a basic emergency supply kit and to act immediately when a warning alert is sent out as you may only have seconds to take cover. Anyone interested in being a disaster volunteer in this very important EMA may contact Lt. Molleck through the Peoria County Sheriff’s Office. The West Peoria Neighborhood Watch will meet 6 p.m. Aug. 12 at City Hall. Plan to attend and bring a friend. Burglary – Break-Ins – Vandalism. It takes all of us to work together on this project!
The Peoria Pops Swing Band will perform 3 – 5 p.m. Aug. 9 at Franciscan Park, front lawn. Bring a lawn chair and picnic and enjoy! Public is invited – it’s free.
Sheryl Vinovich was guest speaker at the WPRA July meeting and told the story of how the Littlefreelibrary came to be. Check it out on Manor Parkway. The Littlefreelibrary is in the 2200 block of West Manor Parkway and can be found by scoping out the special box for it located in the front yard. The Littlefreelibrary West Peoria can be found on facebook. Check it out and see the many opportunities that are offered through this fun addition to our community. Valerie Marek will speak about the activities offered by the Peoria Park District at the Franciscan Complex for the fall and winter seasons. WPRA next meeting is 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at City Hall. The public is welcome