EAST PEORIA — Gift shopping, fun for the kids and free carriage rides with Santa will be part the fifth annual Folepi’s Gifts Galore Shop and Stroll, part of the 34th annual East Peoria Festival of Lights, from 1 until 4 p.m. Dec. 1. The shop and stroll will occur in the Historic Four Corners District, bounded by East Washington and McKinley streets, and adjacent areas.
The participating locally-owned businesses sell handcrafted items, furniture, jewelry, gift items, barbecue meals and more in East Peoria’s original downtown.
The event features free horse-drawn carriage rides with Santa, free balloon art by The Unique Twist inside Whitey’s BBQ, 131 E. Washington St., and free face painting inside Attitudes & Nail Images, 200 Anna St. The East Peoria Community High School Chorale will stroll through the participating businesses, singing holiday carols from 1:30 until 3:30 p.m.
Those who spend $25 or more at a participating business will receive a coupon for a free admission to the Folepi’s Winter Wonderland drive-through display. A purchase receipt from a business participating in the shop and stroll must be presented to receive the coupon. The coupon can be redeemed any time through Dec. 31.
Parking will be available at the First United Methodist Church and in a City of East Peoria public parking lot, both on East Washington Street and adjacent to the Historic Four Corners District.
Participating businesses are:
• Becks Florist, 105 E. Washington St. (open until 2 p.m.) – A full-service florist and gift store. Shop and stroll customers can enter a drawing Becks gift certificate.
• Vintique, 119 E. Washington St. - A vintage and antique store with unique and primitive items, offering holiday treats during the event and a door prize drawing.
• Finders Keepers, 347 McKinley St., located near the intersection of Washington Street and Springfield Road – Offering one-of-a-kind repurposed, refurbished knicknacks, wood crafts, gifts and more. Shop and stroll customers can enter a drawing for a door prize.
• Whitey’s BBQ, 131 E. Washington St. – Offering a shop and stroll special of $5 pulled pork sandwiches (normal price is $6.99) from 1 until 4 p.m. Free balloon art by The Unique Twist will be available at Whitey’s during the event.
• Emerald Tea Room & Gifts, 132 McKinley St. – Serving lunch, hot cider, cocoa and desserts. Walk-ins are welcome and reservations accepted. Also available will be gift items, fruit breads, fudge and other holiday treats. The tea room will also have a drawing for a free lunch.
• Little Grocery, 200 E. McKinley St. – The largest Illinois state lottery retailer in downstate, outside of Chicago. During the shop and stroll, every customer who comes in and spends $5 will receive an entry ticket for Little Grocery’s Christmas Eve drawing for an entire book of holiday cash tickets valued at $300.
• Attitudes and Nail Images, 200 Anna St. – A family based full-service salon open since 2006. Attitudes will offer free face painting and is the site for receiving the free Folepi’s Winter Wonderland pass for those who spend $25 or more at a participating business.
• Attitudes With Tails, 200 Anna St. – A grooming salon for dogs and cats with the goal of making grooming a less stressful experience for furry clients and their owners. Those stopping in during the shop and stroll will receive a coupon for $5 off their pet’s grooming.
• Bell’s Trading Company, 213 E. Washington St. – Offering jewelry, diamonds, coins, video gaming systems and more.
• First United Methodist Church, 154 E. Washington St. – The church will host a craft show, and be open for restrooms and parking.
For more information, and a shop and stroll map, visit www.folepi.org.