Holiday celebration aims to teach

By WEEK Producer

December 26, 2013 Updated Dec 27, 2013 at 10:50 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Thursday was the first day of Kwanzaa and one local business is using plants and flowers to celebrate.

Luthy Botanical Gardens opened up its annual Kwanzaa display Thursday. The display features information on the African American holiday and plants that originate from Africa.

Organizers said they hope the display will help people better understand cultures that are part of the American "melting pot".

"We often forget that America is built of a lot of different cultures," said Bob Streitmatter, garden manager at Luthy Botanical Gardens. "We're a melting pot and so this is a way to celebrate African culture...African American culture. It really explores some of the virtues that all societies are based upon and, of course, we're a botanical garden so we use a botanical angle to explore Kwanzaa."

The Kwanzaa display at Luthy Botanical Gardens is open through the end of the year. Admission is free.