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Located in the north central part of Illinois, Peoria sees a diverse, four-season year. Cold and bitter winters are opposed by hot and sometimes sticky summers. The best time to come to Peoria is between May and October when it is a tourist mecca of weekenders. If you are able to come on a weekday however, you will enjoy reduced rates and fewer crowds. Many like the bustle of the weekend crowd however, it gives a sense of energy to the city.
The late spring through early fall are the best times to come to Peoria. The early spring can still be quite cold, wet, and host unstable weather. But by late May flowers will be in bloom and the weather will be warm. The summer hosts the most of the city's festivals and music concerts thus making it an ideal time to visit. But many choose to make their trip during the fall when the foliage peaks in October.
The city's largest event pulls in a couple hundred thousand people and for good reason. The Heart of Illinois Fair is Peoria's biggest event and is a part of the fourth of July Independence celebration. A large display of fireworks pleases all ages. Another great time to visit is during the Oktoberfest. The German cultural festival takes place annually in September and features excellent food and beer. If you can stand the cold, Christmas is also an ideal season to visit as the city is full of decorations and on Thanksgiving Day is the Santa-Claus Parade (the oldest parade of this kind in the U.S.)