Nestled within the County of Peoria are many attractions that draw visitors to the region: recreational opportunities for active people, state parks for outdoor enthusiasts, gorgeous gardens for green thumbs, museums for history buffs, and professional teams for sports fans. The Glen Oak Zoo, Luthy Botanical Garden, Lakeview Museum, Wildlife Prairie State Park, the Illinois River and WeaverRidge golf course are just a few travel destinations for visitors to the county. And residents are fortunate to have these world-class attractions right in our own backyard!
Certainly we benefit economically when headliners such as Ryne Sandberg and Willie Nelson draw visitors to the region by showcasing their talents in Peoria, but we must also recognize the benefit of smaller community events intended for the natives rather than the nationals. Throughout the year, Peoria County residents have an abundance of local events from which to choose for entertainment, recreation, culture or giving. Annual events such as Princeville Heritage Days, the Taste of Peoria, the Fine Art Fair and Bark in the Park may not draw from far and wide, but they do draw our community closer.
Peoria County considers its annual Emergency Expo to be such an event: one that brings local families together for an afternoon of free entertainment and education. On June 17th, emergency vehicles will converge on the Shoppes at Grand Prairie and open their doors to the public from 4 to 7pm. This summer’s Expo is the fourth annual, showcasing the vehicles and equipment of more than 20 local emergency response agencies.
Children and families will be able to climb into fire trucks, police patrol cars, mobile command centers, decontamination units, an ambulance, an armored S.W.A.T. vehicle, and a Life Flight helicopter. Visitors to the Expo will be able to climb on a Sheriff’s motorcycle, ATVs and an underwater rescue boat. Children will be able to meet the region’s bomb robot, K-9 units and the Sheriff’s mounted patrol. They will experience the Children’s Hospital’s Mobile Safety Van and the Peoria Fire Department’s fire safety house.
The Emergency Expo is sponsored by the County of Peoria. All participating emergency response agencies donate their time and equipment for this unique event. Persons attending the Expo will learn safety tips from emergency personnel and gain valuable insight into disaster response, rescue and recovery. Peoria County’s Emergency Management Agency, Peoria’s Office of Emergency Management and the Peoria City/County Health Department coordinate efforts to provide the public with emergency information during this event.
Peoria County considers itself a tourist destination and we welcome visitors to the region. But we cannot take for granted the people who have made this community what it is: a great place to live, work, and play. Therefore, we support community events and encourage residents to participate in "small-ticket" items such as Steamboat Days, Brimfield Old Settlers Days and the Emergency Expo. For more information on this year’s Expo, visit peoriacounty.org. iBi