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The City of Peoria was awarded the distinction of being an All-America City for the fourth time in 2013. To celebrate the award, a community art initiative was started to ask residents and visitors “why” Peoria is in fact an All-America City. City staff and volunteers received hundreds of responses. The artwork includes the responses received throughout the year. It will be a lasting piece of history that incorporates and celebrates all of the ways Peoria is an All-America City.

The tag cloud below captures the responses of the community in an interactive format. When you hover over words in the tag cloud, they are highlighted and clickable. Clicking on a word will take you to the associated website. Exploring the tag cloud is a great way to find out more about Peoria and the reasons why residents and visitors think Peoria is an All-America City.

Just like in the old vaudevillian days, quality of life MUST BE GOOD to play in Peoria. The oldest community in Illinois with a population of 112,936, Peoria is equal distance from Chicago and St. Louis. Here we have an enviable standard of living, exciting venues within a 15-20 minute drive from our homes, safe streets, quality and quantity shopping, our own symphony, our own ballet, Broadway Theater League, museums, art guilds, first-class medical facilities that are a regional draw, the Nation’s oldest community theater and the Nation’s oldest Santa Claus parade.

Our vibrant riverfront showcases a multitude of festivals and celebrations that light up the summer nights much like our extraordinary Fourth of July Skyconcert…a fireworks show that draws well over 100,000 annually. Citizens are flocking to live in the refurbished warehouses and lofts on Water Street that produce the perfect lifestyle for a 24/7 city.

Naturally, we are proud to be the site of the world headquarters of Caterpillar, Inc., but we have many global businesses that allow Peoria to play all over the World through their products and services. Peoria has begun to diversify its economy with infotech industries as well. Thus our business community attracts some of the brightest graduates throughout the nation.

This three-time All American City has the heart that is so well known in the Midwest. While we enjoy a variety of sophisticated entertainment, we are still homey enough to enjoy a tractor pull at the County fair, and many citizens vie for blue ribbons for their original cookie recipe or their prize bull during that competition. Peoria derives its name from the aboriginal inhabitants encountered by the first wave of French explorers. Located along the meandering Illinois River, our citizens enjoy both the fast pace of a dynamic community and the slower, old-fashioned tempo that is showcased by Old Fashioned Sunday in the Park and quiet pot lucks in their backyards.

We are a City that cares, home to many charity agencies and organizations. Peoria is well known for giving more per capita than many cities of its size. We are the Heart in the Heart of the Nation.