Kickapoo Creek Festival

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About Kickapoo Creek Festival

The Kickapoo Creek Festival: A Gathering for Education, Connection and Healing is hosted by The Friends of Rocky Glen and will include a full day of workshops, hikes, yoga and van tours of the approximately 2,000 square-mile Kickapoo Creek Watershed, an area encompassing nearly 50 percent of Peoria County.

The family-friendly event will continue into the evening with overnight tent camping, a bonfire and a post-midnight sky tour by Sheldon Schaeffer, retired director of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Planetarium and member of the Peoria Astronomical Society. With a clear sky, campers will be able to see a waxing moon, several planets, constellations and possibly, some of the Perseid meteor shower.

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The event is free. Attendees can purchase food from Wildlife Prairie Park food vendors during park hours (park admission may be required) or bring their own for daytime picnics and nighttime meals. Campers will be provided with a large central grill for cooking. A limited number of 6-person tents are available at no charge or campers can bring their own.

In addition to The Friends of Rocky Glen, the event is sponsored by Soulside Healing Arts, Friends of Kickapoo Creek, The Peoria Astronomical Society, Panther Creek Survival and Lifeskills and the City of Bartonville.

Check back to this space frequently in coming weeks as we publish more details on the Kickapoo Creek Festival!

The Kickapoo Creek Festival is a new project of The Friends of Rocky Glen, formed over a decade ago, to preserve an area of canyon, woodland and prairie on Kickapoo Creek Rd. between Route 116 and Harmon Highway in Peoria county. Over the course of a decade the grassroots group began offering hiking tours of the area and raising funds to build hiking trails, benches and educational signage. Rocky Glen Park is now a part of the Peoria Park District and boasts well-maintained hiking trails and a parking lot for visitors.

The Friends of Rocky Glen subsequently formed a subcommittee, Friends of Horseshoe Bottoms, to similarly preserve hill prairies in Rocky Glen Park as well as natural Illinois prairie in West Peoria adjacent to Kickapoo Creek on land owned by the Greater Peoria Sanitary District and the Catholic Cemetery Association of Peoria. The group also has planted and maintains a native prairie garden at Calvin Coolidge Middle School in West Peoria, funded by a grant from West Peoria Township.

The Friends of Rocky Glen is turning its energy to the Kickapoo Creek watershed which originates from a network of meandering brooks and creeks in Peoria county from Edelstein to Farmington before flowing into the Illinois River just northeast of Bartonville.

According to Friends of Rocky Glen president David Pittman, the organization’s recently adopted mission statement expands its focus to protect the Kickapoo Creek watershed using the concept of a geopark which provides a framework to understand the many aspects of a watershed, including biology, geology, botany, wildlife and human land use.

“By creating a Kickapoo Creek Watershed Geopark, we hope to give central Illinoisans a new appreciation and pride in the area, begin to identify and address environmental challenges, protect wildlife habitat and develop opportunities for recreational activities,” says Pittman. “The Kickapoo Creek Festival is a fun event to introduce people to the whole of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed, its beauty and the challenges of preserving it for future generations.”

Free Camping

Tents for camping

Enjoy camping under the stars on Saturday, August 14 during the Kickapoo Creek Festival. Wildlife Prairie Park has six six-person tents available for rent.

To reserve a tent, please email your name, phone number and number of people in your party to


Kickapoo Creek Watershed Van tours

Take a two-hour van tour of the Kickapoo Creek Watershed with docents Cheryl Resnick, professor of earth sciences at Illinois Central College, and Ed Stermer, professor of geology at Illinois Central College.

Van tours will depart Wildlife Prairie Park Saturday, August 14 at 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 2:15 p.m. Each tour is limited to 12 passengers.

Please make a tour reservation by emailing your name, email address and phone number, the number in your party and your preferred tour time (9 a.m., 11:30 a.m. or 2:15 p.m.) to:

Please use the subject line: KCF VAN TOUR.

Food and beverages at the Kickapoo Creek Festival

The Friends of Rocky Glen are not supplying food or drink during the festival. You are welcome to bring food and beverages to enjoy during the day or if you are camping overnight. We will have a grill set up for campers to use in the evening.