The Festival of Lights has new leadership following the departure of the longtime festival chairperson.
Kory Brown is the City of East Peoria’s new director of tourism and special events, which also includes chairing the East Peoria Festival of Lights. Brown, employed by the city since June 2017, was promoted Oct. 15.
Doug McCarty, who oversaw the Department of Tourism and Special Events and Festival of Lights for eight years, resigned from the city to accept a position with a private sector firm. The City of East Peoria appreciates McCarty's work during those eight years and wishes him well in his new career.
Brown is no stranger to the Festival of Lights, going with his family to the Parade of Lights and the displays as he grew up. During his five years with the City of East Peoria he has assisted with the parade and organization of the Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display, and said he is looking forward to this new chapter of his career.
“I’m excited to take on this challenge and looking forward to the festival’s 38th year,” Brown said. “Throughout Doug’s time, so many upgrades have been made to the Festival of Lights and he has left us in a great spot to make the festival successful for years to come.”
Brown is the fourth person to chair the festival in its 38 years.
The East Peoria Festival of Lights begins Saturday, November 19 with the Parade of Lights. The Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display opens Thursday, November 24 and will be open nightly through Monday, January 2, and there are festival events in November and December.