Bloomington - Pontiac - Peoria Meet 2017

Join us June 19 - 22!

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Event Highlights


The Meet

The 2017 W-O-K-R International Meet will be June 19-22 will be put on by Stu and Kathy Etheridge and Melanie Shellito. Below is some preliminary information about the two tour days. Keep checking back to this site for updated information about this exciting event!

Pontiac Museum Complex

Tuesday, June 20: Pontiac, Illinois

In this welcoming midwestern town, you'll find something very close to this group's heart: thirty restaurants! If you can't find something tasty here in Pontiac, you're just not trying. Eat when you want, visit whichever museums you want, stroll and shop for as long as you want. This will be a "laid back day" in a town that opens its arms wide for tourists. We'll note a couple of highlights.

Envision this, if you will: A man with an extensive collection of Pontiac and Oakland automobile artifacts wants to relocate from Arizona to a town somewhere with the name of Pontiac. Pontiac, Illinois welcomed him in a big way, using his extensive collection to bring tourism into the small town. Now, Pontiac is visited annually by thousands from all over the world.

But there's more: Walldog murals (twenty two of them) decorate buildings throughout the downtown and provide gorgeous photo ops (The Walldogs) The Walldog museum also hosts the Society of Gilders exhibit with the history and examples of gold leaf decoration. (Who would have thought?)

Make time to visit Tang-Dongbai's custom airbrush painting studio, view his masterpieces on the cars there and experience his UV Pretty Dresses in special blacklight rooms. It's a very small studio with very big mind-blowing impact.

A two-story Route 66 museum will wrap you in memories, and upstairs you'll find a War Museum staffed by veterans.

The Jolly Trolley driver (we had a retired cop when there 2 years ago) will keep you in stitches with his narrative during the drive around the town.

Pontiac is the only town in the Midwest to boast three swinging bridges dating back to the late 1800's. Don't swing your hips while walking...

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Spirit of Peoria

Wednesday, June 21: Peoria, Illinois

First, we have passage booked on The Spirit of Peoria Riverboat. This gorgeous vessel will take us on an hour-long sightseeing cruise down the Illinois River, powered solely by its 21ft paddlewheel. This is the only event with a firm start time. The rest of the day you are on your own to explore the Riverfront district and all it has to offer, like...

Lots of hands-on exhibits at the Caterpillar Visitors Center! Hop onto a simulator and work the equipment the way real-life operators do. See these massive machines up close. Take a journey thru time (Caterpillars were involved with everything from San Francisco's cable car system to the construction of the Three Gorges Dam in China to the widening of the Panama Canal.) Why the name Caterpillar? Why Peoria? Find out at the museum. One could easily spend all day at this museum, and it's a huge favorite with kids, too.

The Peoria Riverfront Museum houses several entertainment options under one roof. The Planetarium has rotating 20-minute shows; the "Discovery Worlds" area is packed with interactive exhibits for kids of all ages; art galleries showcase touring national exhibits and permanent collections.

And... more eating! There are multiple restaurants all around riverfront, some with huge outside deck seating overlooking the river. Our choice when we last visited had seating for 250 inside and about 50 out on the beautiful deck. All the entertainments we'll be experiencing today are contained within 5 blocks.

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Hotel Info

Call the Parke Regency Hotel at 1413 Leslie Drive, Bloomington, IL at 309-662-4300 for reservations. There are 70 rooms and the contracted $99 per room price includes an extensive breakfast buffet. There will be plenty of room for parking the trailers (245 parking spaces plus a grass lot) and no charge for camping in the parking lot.

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For more info or to ask any questions, contact Stu and Kathy Etheridge at: