When we talk about summertime in central Illinois, ballparks and hot dogs, picnics and garden parties all come to mind. Water sports, swimming pools and boating on the Illinois River are fun ways to keep cool on a hot summer day.

Peoria hit a home run when it recruited the legendary Ryne Sandberg to manage the Chiefs this season. Don’t miss Ryno on the third base line at O’Brien Field this summer, and don’t forget to pick up a foot-long hot dog while you’re there.

With gas prices through the roof, shorter car trips are more appealing, so why not follow the Chiefs out of town with a quick road trip to Burlington or Beloit? There are a number of options for family baseball fun within a few short hours.

This issue we continue our 24 Hours in Peoria photo essay with the day shift: 8am-4pm. On a gorgeous spring day, we circled the town, visiting a manufacturing plant, veterinary clinic, high school, radio station, shoe repair shop, two barbershops and the zoo, with a downtown lunchtime rendezvous with Peoria’s famous street vendors.

There’s no better treat than fresh sweet corn, green beans or a fully ripened tomato. I had not heard the term locavore until recently, but I do know that the food purchased at our local farmer’s markets just tastes better. Find out how to buy local and eat local in this issue.

art & society is pleased to partner with Riverfront Entertainment to host five-time Grammy winner Art Garfunkel for one night, July 28, during the Peoria Civic Center’s rededication weekend. The summary of Mr. Garfunkel’s surprise phone call to our office last month can be found on page 18.

We also talk to two area artists making a huge difference in our community. Local writer and historian Channy Lyons put together the wonderful Peoria Women Collect: Works by Women Artists exhibit that was on display at the Art Guild in May and June. Find out more about musician Dave McDonald, whose unique methods have made recording artists out of his students at Charter Oak Primary School.

With all the activities on the Peoria riverfront this summer—concerts, festivals, farmer’s markets and park activities, don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful flowers and foliage along the way. Peoria’s not just the hot spot, it’s sizzlin’ this summer!