My grandfather wrote in his diary in the summer of 1916 that he had worked for the Neptuna Carnival in Peoria. My dad’s recent research into this Neptuna Carnival revealed the following article from The Peoria Transcript, Sunday July 2, 1916:
Neptuna Carnival Begins Tonight
The Neptuna Carnival will open tonight with a concert program given by the famous Liberati band of fifty musicians and company of opera singers. This concert will be given from the Island Beautiful in the river directly in front of the grandstand. There are over 10,000 seats in the grandstand. at 25 cents each. The concert will begin at 8:00 and according to the advanced sale of seats will have a really remarkable attendance. The ballet, which is to present a marvelous spectacular ballet on the Island Beautiful on the night of the Fourth in honor of the coming of Neptuna.
The entrance of the Court of Honor, which has been erected on lower Main Street near Adams and on the parking lots of the river front, is a sight of majestic splendor and pure architecture, with its columns gleaming white. It frames a vista with the sparkling blue of the river and the green hills as a background. When the thousands of incandescent monster lights, which have been placed for the illumination, are at last alight, the Court will present a vision of beauty not soon to be forgotten. The river front will present a decidedly festive and carnivalesque appearance with many booths and tents having sprung up during the day.
Ten thousand seats on the riverfront?!?! Wow! Sounds like a great time, doesn’t it? I hope someone has photos of this 1916 spectacle that they can share on the Internet.
You can read my grandfather’s entire journal by clicking below. It’s quite interesting! Of course, I’m biased! 🙂
Thanks for your interest!