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Nov 9, 2006
I grew up in the Peoria Illinois area. Peoria is a river town and in the early 1800's it was thought that it would be the major metropolis of Illinois, Chicago was not much to speak of back then.
Well Peoria didn't end up being Chicago but the river definitely shapes the culture there in the summer time. I grew up boating, water skiing and swimming in the silty Illinois river water. Its not much to look at but its definitely a fun time.
Every fourth of July every one up and down the river heads down the river in their boats and anchors around the waterfront to watch the fireworks over the water.
Flotillas of ski boats, pontoons, fishing boats and even a few sail boats will tie up together and establish a great big floating party on the river.
Run out of a drink or to and just climb from boat to boat until you can find a beer. Get too hot, just grab a life jacket and hop into the water and float around for a while. The Illinois has a bit of a current so its not to practical to swim without a life jacket, but in the summer time at night with fireworks and music going you can still have a good time.
These days I'm living in Atlanta but looking to move to Lake Wylie, which is essentially a slightly dammed up river. There isn't hardly any current ther at all. You can bet that once we get moved and situated I won't waste much time hitting the boat classifieds. We're angling for a house on the lake so I'm going to need something to park in the dock lift afterall.
There are several different fireworks shows and lots of places to tie up but on any given Saturday everyone heads for 'the Shallows' a sandy area where boats can anchor and most people can wade around in water that is shoulder deep. There's a couple barges that serve burgers and dogs and someone always has a beer.