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Rated PG: Winterfest a success; Alice Cooper and Beach Boys coming to Peoria

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Winterfest, downtown Peoria the ice skating rink that debuted this year, has been deemed a success and will return next year, officials of the event said Tuesday.

Nearly 12,000 people enjoyed the PNC-sponsored Winterfest that ended Monday, the Peoria Civic Center announced.

The rink opened Nov. 30 and wamer-than-usual weather created some havoc early on. But it was crowded pretty much every evening and weekend and more than 11,700 used the rink and sledding area.

“When announced on a sweltering August day, PNC Winterfest optimistically took the bold tagline of ‘Peoria’s Newest Holiday Tradition’. With almost 12,000 people coming out to enjoy the event, that tag line quickly became a reality,” a Civic Center news release said.

Anne Clayton, Civic Center general manager, said, “Central Illinois came out in droves to support PNC Winterfest, and we are already working on our plans for next year. We can’t wait to watch this event grow.”

“Contributing to the mission of the Peoria Civic Center while providing quality entertainment opportunities for residents of Central Illinois proved to be a winning formula,” said Doug Stewart, PNC Bank regional president. “We are very pleased with the achievement.”

Great job to all involved. But how about keeping the rink around through more of the winter? Just sayin’.


Legends in concert in May

There ought to be some good vibrations coming from the Civic Center Theatre in May. That is when The Beach Boys and Alice Cooper will play, the Civic Center announced on Tuesday.

The “Spend the Night With Alice Cooper” tour will hit Peoria on Wednesday, May 4 at 8 p.m. It will be Cooper’s second concert in Peoria.

Tickets are $49.50, $59.50 and $74.50 and will go on sale Friday at 10 a.m. Tickets can be purchased at the Toyota Box Office at the Peoria Civic Center, online at or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

Cooper was a pioneer in rock and roll as theatre, using make-up and costumes and props – including fake blood --  all designed to shock his audiences. But his music was well-liked, as well, as he had success album sales and tours for years.  

“With a schedule that includes six months each year on the road, Alice Cooper brings his own brand of rock psycho-drama to fans both old and new, enjoying it as much as the audience does. Known as the architect of shock-rock, Cooper (in both the original Alice Cooper band and as a solo artist) has rattled the cages and undermined the authority of generations of guardians of the status quo, continuing to surprise fans and exude danger at every turn, like a great horror movie, even in an era where CNN can present real life shocking images,” said a news release about the concert.

I don’t know yet if I’ll go see Cooper in concert. Truth is, I’d rather invite to play golf. He is quite the golfer.

Anyway, on Friday, May 13, The Beach Boys , now at more than 50 years in rock and roll, will be at the Civic Center Theatre, starting at 8 p.m. Tickets are $49, $59 and $85 and will go on sale this Friday at 11am. Tickets can be purchased at the Toyota Box Office at the Peoria Civic Center, online at or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

The Beach Boys have always had a sound that was all their own, unmistakable over the radio no matter the age of the listener. I know I remember listening to some of those hits when I was a kid, including “I Get Around,” “California Girls,” “Help Me Rhonda,” “Good Vibrations” and “Barbara Ann.” I still sing to them every time I hear them.

According to the news release, The Beach Boys “have performed more concerts than any major rock band in history.”

I wonder, do any of them play golf?

About the Author
Paul Gordon is the editor of The Peorian after spending 29 years of indentured servitude at the Peoria Journal Star. He’s an award-winning writer, raconteur and song-and-dance man. He also went to a high school whose team name is the Alices (that’s Vincennes Lincoln High School in Indiana; you can look it up).