Now, city leaders hope by the end of this summer, the park will include a small concert venue, plus a few additional bells and whistles to accompany the music.

"You get some additional sidewalks and additional lighting. (Plus) some hardscape, as well as some planters that provide opportunity for seeding," said Ty Livingston, director of planning & development for East Peoria.

Livingston calls it a "public-private partnership" - The East Peoria Community Foundation provided $400,000 and the state chipped in half a million dollars.

Local musician Chris Hawkins says the park is a huge step forward for the community.

"There is really not a lot of family things - not a lot of outdoor family things that people can do, Hawkins said."

Hawkins says the city is full of musical talent just looking for more opportunities, and Livingston adds, Levee Park will provide just that.

"The goal would be kind of a smaller performance that is designed to utilize the space well, but not overwhelm it and have people flowing into the streets," Livingston said.

A funding campaign is underway for next phase of development, which will include a massive fountain and a splash pad near the stage.

"That's what we need in East Peoria - more of that stuff," Hawkins said. "More of that family-oriented entertainment and a chance for other people to show what they can do."

Harry Croton

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