Peoria celebrates as an All-America City award winner

By WEEK Producer

June 17, 2013 Updated Jun 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria is celebrating its selection by the National Civic League as an All-America City. Peoria won the award last night at a ceremony in Denver, Colo.

The last time Peoria won this award was in 1989 and people around the city thought, it had been too long.

"I think the reason Peoria got it is because of our people here, their enthusiasm, the things they've accomplished and done,” said Sue Atherton of the Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Atherton says a city does not win this honor for visible things like a city's tourist attractions. The award is given out every year to ten cities based on those communities' efforts on everything from joblessness to health care for veterans.

So, now it's time to spread the news.

"And our job is to get that information out and market to people outside this AREA so they come in and spend the night here,” said Atherton.

The whole thing was spear-headed by the young professionals organization at the Peoria Chamber of Commerce.

"They saw this energy in the city, all these great things that are happening and realized it's been 24 years since we won this award and brought it back to the city of Peoria and it's time again, amazing things are happening,” said Renee Charles of the Greater Peoria Business Alliance.

Charles has something to say to those critics who say it's just another award that doesn't really matter.

"We have so much to be proud of in this area,” said Charles. “It's a great place to be. Good things that are taking place here and it is just another award, but it's one of the most prestigious awards a community can receive."

She says it is an award than can help attract more tourists and events to town.