With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, East Peoria is gearing up for the holiday celebrated for love.



Whether finding the special flowers, music album or making those perfect romantic plans, there is a great deal of preparation that goes into this one day.


With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, East Peoria is gearing up for the holiday celebrated for love.

Whether finding the special flowers, music album or making those perfect romantic plans, there is a great deal of preparation that goes into this one day.

Here are a few lists to help guide you along the way.

Top 10 Books about Love
 1. “Dead End Dating: a Novel of Vampire Love” by Kimberly Raye
Sink your teeth into the first book in a hilarious paranormal romance series.
 2. “The Time Traveler’s Wife” by Audrey Niffenegger
An imaginative debut novel whose characters must adapt to the hero’s unpredictable journeys through time.
 3. “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch
The love of a parent for a child comes full circle in this charming children’s book
 4. “Homer’s Odyssey: A Fearless Feline Tale, or How I Learned About Love and Life With a Blind Wonder Cat” by Gwen Cooper
 A purr-fect love story for cat fanciers.
 5. “A Big Little Life: A Memoir of a Joyful Dog” by Dean Koontz
 Here is one for the dog lovers. It is a heartwarming memoir of Trixie, a very special dog.
 6. “Timeless Embrace” by Sylvia Shults
A trilogy of romance novellas. Come find love through the eyes of  three ancient cultures: Egypt, Greece and Rome.
 7. “Hook & Jill” by Andrea Jones
A lushly written, sensuous reimagining of the Peter Pan story.
 8. “Valentine’s Day Is Killing Me” by Mary Janice Davidson, Leslie Esdaile and Susanna Carr
From three of today’s hottest authors comes a delectable serving of romantic tales gone bad, very bad.
 9. “Chicken Soup for the Romantic Soul”
 This is a collection of inspirational stories about love and romance.
 10. “The Cornbread Book: A Love Story with Recipes” by Jeremy Jackson
Now what love story list would be complete without a book about the love of food? Recipes for tasty comfort food to warm your heart on a cold winter’s night.
Source: Sylvia Shults, desk assistant at the Fondulac District Library

Top 10 Love Songs
1. “God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys
2. “Thank the Lord for the Night Time,” by Neil Diamond
3. “Love Hurts” by the Everly Brothers
4. “Without You” by Harry Nilsson
5. “You’re my Best Friend” by Queen
6. “I Would Die 4 U” by Prince
7. “Be My Baby” by The Ronettes
8. The entire “Tunnel of Love” album by Bruce Springsteen
9. The entire “Let’s Get It On” album by Marvin Gaye
10. The entire “Astral Weeks” album by Van Morrison
Source: Co-Op Records
in East Peoria

Most Popular Flowers
1. Roses
2. Gerbera daisies
3. Stargazer lilies
Source: Becks Florist Inc. and Flowers and Friends Florist in East Peoria

Ever wonder how they met?

East Peoria Mayor Dave Mingus met his wife, Candra, in 1975 while they were both working at Montgomery Ward in Peoria.

“I was in the protection department and she worked in the housewares department,” Mingus said. “I found I was protecting housewares’ more than any part of the store. We fell in love, and the rest is history.”

They were married in December 1975.

Their plans for Valentine’s Day: “I will have a gift for her. Honestly, every day is like Valentine’s. We probably won’t do something special because the relationship itself is special.”

East Peoria Police Chief Ed Papis met his wife, Joan, his senior year of high school in 1965 during
a track meet at Peoria Stadium.

“She was a cheerleader for the Academy,” Papis said. “I walked up to her and told her that one day we’ll be married and have 10 kids. She walked away from me and thought I was bizarre. Shortly thereafter, we went to the prom, and now we’ve been together for 45 years.”

They were married in 1970.

“Due to the economy, we only had three kids,” Papis said.

Their plans for Valentine’s Day: “peace and quiet.”

Amy Falasz-Peterson, director of the Fondulac District Library, met her husband, Brian Peterson, the third day of college in 1993 at Knox College in Galesburg.

“He was a senior, and I was a freshman. He came up to me and said, ‘Hi, I’m Brian. What’s your name?’ And I said, ‘None of your business.’ I ended up giving him a shot, and we’ve been together ever since.”

They were married in 2003.

Their plans for Valentine’s Day: “We have a 10-month-old baby boy, so we are just going to have a family night.”