Lily Gicker / Flickr

The Illinois state fire marshal is urging people to be safe in the kitchen this week. Thanksgiving is the peak day for when the most home cooking fires occur. In 2015, fire departments nationwide responded to over 1,700 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving. That's according to the National Fire Protection Association.


Peoria Public Radio

As a lot of people take to road in Illinois to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends, the Illinois State Police is reminding motorists to drive safely.

ISP Troopers are expected to be positioned every 20 miles on Interstates 55, 57, and 80 today/Wednesday from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Additionally troopers will be highly visible on the interstates and heavily traveled state routes through Monday, November 27th.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

A dessert that’s the centerpiece of many Thanksgiving tables this week depends on help from seasonal migrant workers. Many of whom travel from Texas and across the border to Morton, Ill. -- where nearly 90 percent of the world’s canned pumpkin is made.

Cass Herrington / Peoria Public Radio

Hundreds of volunteers at South Side Mission are already three days’ into the prep work for tomorrow’s large-scale feast.

The kitchen is alive with the hum of industrial-sized mixers and the clanking of baking sheets.

This is Chef Chris Franzoni’s 12th year overseeing the massive culinary production. He says the South Side Mission plans to deliver 3,300 meals and serve 200 in the gymnasium for Thanksgiving.

Franzoni says aside from the pay, the work is worth it, after seeing the relief on people’s faces when they get their meals.

Jim Meadows / Illinois Public Media

It’s the day after Thanksgiving, and your refrigerator is filled with leftovers from the big meal. You might just warm them up and eat them as they are … or you might get a bit creative. For some input on how to make you day-old turkey into something new, Jim Meadows turned to Jessica Gorin. She’s the executive chef at Big Grove Tavern in downtown Champaign. She says you can use those Thanksgiving leftovers in ways that aren’t exactly like what you had yesterday.

A Look At Peoria's Annual Christmas kick-off events

Nov 27, 2015
Peoria Area Community Events Santa Claus Parade

The 128th Annual Santa Claus Parade kicks off at 10:15 this morning at the Central Fire Station on Monroe Street in downtown Peoria. It’s the longest continuously running holiday parade in the U-S. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis says the annual tradition is a large draw for the city:

Amid Busy Travel, Area Law Enforcement Urge Caution

Nov 24, 2015

Area law enforcement agencies are urging motorists to drive safe during one of the heaviest travel periods of the year. They say drivers should always buckle-up, put away their cellphones, and never drink and drive.  Wednesday night is also one of the biggest party nights of the year. Illinois State Police Trooper Ross Green says people drinking should have a strategy before hitting the road:

HOI United Way announces mid-way campaign total

Nov 26, 2014
Denise Molina-Weiger / Peoria Public Radio

The Heart of Illinois United Way is making the final push for individuals to give to its annual campaign. The organization announced it’s about one-point eight million dollars away from matching last year’s final total. Campaign co-chair Teresa Koch says Thanksgiving is a good time to remind people of the need to support the United Way.

Families from around Central Illinois have various options to ring in the holiday season. It begins with the 126th Santa Claus Parade. The longest running holiday parade in the country kicks off at 10:15 this morning at the Central Fire House on Monroe and continues to Main, Jefferson, Liberty and Adams ending at the Courthouse. The theme is “the Sights and Sounds of Christmas” and features more than 85 costumed characters, novelty walking units, horses, and decorated floats. Peoria Mayor Jim Ardis is also again partnering with the Salvation Army and Midwest Food Bank to run a community food and coat drive at the event. Parade attendees are asked to bring canned goods and gently used coats that will be donated to those in need.