What is the Duryea Festival?

What is the Duryea Festival?

The Duryea Festival is an annual festival held in June to celebrate the unique and rich historical heritage of Peoria Heights referred to as the “Heights”. The festival highlights bouncy activities for kids, outstanding bands, great food, beverages and lots more. Plus you can shop in the many eclectic and independently owned shops; enjoy wonderful food in our outstanding restaurants. Or take a self guided historical tour of the Heights to enjoy points of interest in our village. There is something for the entire family to enjoy.

Charles E. Duryea, a farm boy from Wyoming, IL. invented the High Wheel bicycle and the first gasoline powered car. He came to the Heights and got Rouse and Hazard interested in his patent of the ‘Sylph” High Wheel bicycle in 1896 and they started manufacturing the bikes which sold for $100.00. Mr. Duryea also invented the first drop frame bicycle or ladies bicycles which were also manufactured in the Heights. The original bicycle manufacturing building still stands today. It is now the home of the Trefzger’s Bakery.

The Duryea car was invented by Mr. Duryea with about 18 of them built in the Heights. Duryea’s first armored car, complete with machine guns was also built in the Heights.

On October 12, 1910 President Teddy Roosevelt visited Peoria Heights while on a campaign tour for re-election.   He rode in the Glide car which was built in Peoria and toured the beautiful Grandview Dr which he proclaimed the World’s Most Beautiful Drive as it overlooks the Illinois River.


  1. Quarterly General Membership Meeting

    March 8 @ 8:00 am - 9:00 am