Festival of Lights Displays
Parade of Lights
Parade of Lights
5:45 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18, 2017
Handicapped Parking Information
Parade starts at 5:45 p.m.
Roads along the parade route closed at 5:30 p.m. SHARP
Starts at intersection of East Washington Street and Dolans Lane
Parade Route - New for 2017
The Festival of Lights annual Parade of Lights covers two miles, mainly along Washington Street and this year turning onto Taylor Street. The parade features floats shaped entirely from LED lights, including Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, the chopper motorcycle, a 70-foot long float of the famous Clydesdale horse team pulling a delivery wagon, Frosty the Snowman, the starship Enterprise illuminated with 48,000 lights, and the 95-foot-long smoke-spewing China dragon.
Downloadable parade route map
A new ending location has been set for this year's Parade of Lights. The parade will start at the intersection of East Washington Street and Dolans Lane, where Auto Zone is located. It will continue along its traditional Washington Street route, turning left at the intersection with Camp Street.
Shortly after that, the route will change. The floats will turn right from Washington onto Taylor Street at East Peoria Autobody, and continue along Taylor in front of Central Junior High School, ending at Taylor Street and Springfield Road at the U.S. Post Office.
Handicapped parking will be available along Taylor Street in areas designated with handicap signage. Vehicles must have a handicapped sticker, license plate or dash card. Overnight parking will be permitted as long as vehicles are properly tagged. A limited number of handicapped parking spots are available on a first come, first served basis.
This is not the first time in the parade’s 33-year history that the route has been changed, the last time being in 2012 due to the construction of The Levee District.
Festival organizers began considering a route change during the 2016 event. The new route will offer additional spectator parking at CJHS, whose lot size increased when the school expanded several years ago, at the Festival Building located at 2200 E. Washington St., East Peoria Community High School at 1401 E. Washington St., and at the Fon du Lac Park District Administration Office on Veterans Drive.
“We realize the downtown area had a lot of people watching the parade, but there were other areas along the route with less spectators,” said Festival of Lights Chairman Doug McCarty. “A major reason for the change was the number of state highways running through the city that had to be closed for the parade. Keeping Route 116 open will help with overall city traffic flow, particularly in the Four Corners area (Main and Washington streets intersection), and reduce the number of detours. This new route is also a more efficient use of city resources.”
Parade Narration Locations
For many years the radio stations of Alpha Media have set up at businesses along the parade route, announcing a narration of the parade. The radio stations will be at the following locations:
Super Hits WIRL - Martin Furniture, 1965 E. Washington St. (near the beginning of the parade route)
G102.3 - East Peoria Community High School, 1401 E. Washington St.
104.9 The Wolf - Tazewell County Chiropractic, 1100 E. Washington St. (near the intersection of East Washington Street and Meadow Avenue)
Mix 106.9 - East Peoria Autobody, 741 Taylor St. (the intersection of East Washington and Taylor streets)
93.3 The Drive - Central Junior High School, 601 Taylor St.
Handicapped parking will be available along Taylor Street in areas designated with handiap signage. Vehicles must have a handicapped sticker, license plate or dash card. Overnight parking in disabled lots is permitted as long as vehicles are properly tagged. A limited number of handicapped parking areas are available.
Parade Road Closures
Springfield Road will be closed to all traffic from its intersection with Taylor Street to North Main Street from 4 p.m. Nov. 18 until 4 p.m. Nov. 20. Access will be open to the CVS Pharmacy and Long John Silver’s/A&W restaurants located at Springfield Road and North Main Street. The closure will be necessary for the parking of Parade of Lights floats in preparation of moving them to the Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display.
Most roads along the Washington Street route of the Parade of Lights will be closed to traffic at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18. Motorists will need to use alternate routes. Any traffic exiting Interstate 74 to Washington Street will be routed west toward Main Street, away from the parade route.