"It plays in Peoria" was a statement derived from Peoria's Vaudeville days. "It plays in Peoria" gave credit to the discerning people of the Greater Peoria Area. It still does. Peoria Area is the Heart of Illinois... and the heart of the USA. Colin Powell said during a recent visit;"That's the great thing about Peoria. You are the center, the mass of what America is all about."
The Peoria Area is a beautiful river valley, carved from the Illinois prairie. The views are grand! It is the oldest community in Illinois. The Peoria Area is 165 miles from Chicago and 165 miles from St. Louis. It is the 3rd largest metropolitan area in Illinois. The average year round temperature is 49°F and features well over 10,000 acres of parks and recreational areas.
The Peoria Area is the World Headquarters of Caterpillar, RLI, Enercon, Maui Jim, and Pekin Insurance. It is the home of University of Illinois College of Medicine and Bradley University.
When Peoria was incorporated in 1835, the Village of Peoria had a President (not mayor) named Rudolph Rouse. Ten years later it officially became a city. Interestingly, the city of Peoria, AZ was actually named after Peoria, Illinois.