Located on the banks of the Illinois River, East Peoria is a vibrant city with something for everyone. It is known for its beautiful hills, scenic plains, and constant supply of water. The town is considered part of the Peoria, Illinois metropolitan area and has a population of 23,000. It is modest enough to retain its small-town charm, yet large enough to provide a variety of civic and entertainment services to residents and guests alike.
History of the City
In 1848, Captain Almiron S. Cole built a toll bridge that connected Peoria with the land to the east, on the other side of the river. Peoria was bustling and crowded, which led Captain Cole in search of more space. In 1884, two small communities incorporated into a town known as Hilton. In 1889, it became the Village of East Peoria. The City of East Peoria, Illinois was officially adopted in April 1919, and it has retained that name ever since.
There are approximately 9,400 households in the city limits, 28.1% of which include children under 18. More than half of the households are comprised of married couples, and the average household size is 2.7. The median age is 40, with about 22% of the population being under 18. There are slightly more women than men living in the city.
The average income for a family is $51,836, and 7.2% of the population live below the poverty line.
Four school districts are located in town. There are three elementary school districts, and one high school district. The only high school is East Peoria High School, with almost 1,000 enrolled students.
Illinois Central College (ICC), a community college, has its largest campus in the city. Over 13,000 students attend ICC and benefit from its many academic degrees and certificates.
The Fondulac District Library
The Fondulac District Library has a long and storied history in the area. First established by the East Peoria Women’s Club in 1935, the library has changed locations and grown immensely in the past few decades. The current library building is in the Levee District. At 32,000 square feet, it houses a large collection of books and other media, as well as providing a vast array of services.
Things to Do
The city prides itself on offering a variety of activities and enrichments for its citizens. Sports enthusiasts can hike or bike the many trails along the riverbank, work out in one of the local gyms, or catch a game at the EastSide Centre, one of the foremost athletic facilities in the Midwest. Local, regional, and national sports tournaments (including volleyball and baseball) are often hosted by the EastSide Centre.
Shopping and fine dining establishments are conveniently located throughout the city.
The community is famous for hosting Illinois’ largest Independence Day fireworks show, Red, White, and Boom! Other special events include:
- The Festival of Lights, a Christmas spectacular
- The CFPOA Duck Race, which raises funds for abuse victims
- The Levee District Cruise-In, a celebration of classic cars
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