Jam-packed weekend of activities planned for Civic Center

By WEEK Producer

February 23, 2012 Updated Feb 24, 2012 at 11:59 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Peoria Civic Center employees are preparing for one of the busiest weekends of the year with the Home Show, live musical performances, two banquets and four sporting events.

It's all happening within a 24-hour period, and the revenue for the Peoria economy is expected to make quite an impact.

As if the Home Show doesn't draw enough consumers, throw in some charity functions, a popular childrens band, some hockey and basketball, and you have a pretty full day.

"When you put the multipliers on it, you know that there are millions of dollars in economic impact for people that are coming into the hotels. We have people coming down from Chicago to go to that Fresh Beat Band," said Marc Burnett, director of marketing for the Civic Center.

The band from Nick Jr. Is one of two sold out shows at the Civic Center. Easter Seals has no seats left for the organization's 7th annual Black and Blue Ball. The black tie, blue jean event will bring in about 1,100 attendees to help pay for their biggest fundraiser.

"All of the money that we raise goes toward our telethon. We have a live broadcast we put on where people present checks for the events that they've done and answer phones," said Marketing Manager for Easter Seals Andrea Marold-Childs.

More than 32,000 patrons are expected at the Civic Center this weekend for 6 events that will take more than 500 employees to cover, literally all in a day's work.

And that doesn't even include the three Rivermen hockey games on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That means the arena will be changed over not once, but twice for the Bradley ISU game on Saturday.

"People will come in for a hockey game or a basketball game, and the next thing you know they'll say let's just pop in and see what's going on at the Home Show," said Burnett.

"That works on our favor, because people make the trip to downtown and they get settled in the parking lot and they can take in multiple events at once," said Lisa Scott, executive officer for the Homebuilders Association.

Even kids seeing the Fresh Beat Band can find something else to do at the family-friendly Home Show. The show will be at the Civic Center all weekend, featuring its always-popular house built by Homeway Homes.

You will want to plan ahead if you're going to more than one of these attractions, unless you've found a way to be in six places at once.

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