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2020 Dubbed Peoria's 'Year of the Guitar'

Peoria is celebrating its music scene by dubbing 2020 the "Year of the Guitar." 

It's a collaboration between the Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, Peoria Riverfront Museum, and other groups to promote the city's live music and legacy. Local guitarist Andy Hatfield says he hopes it influences kids.

We had a Lego exhibition recently, and kids starting thinking about building. We've got a guitar exhibition, and kids start thinking about music," he said. "And it is that air guitar that [museum CEO] John Morris was talking about. That's the first thing that a kid does. And that's great. To pick up music and play music. We can never have enough musicians around." 

In September, the world's largest playable guitar will be on exhibit at the museum. Peoria Riverfront Museum curator Bill Conger says the museum will host the world's largest playable guitar starting this September.

"We're so proud to have this exhibition here, because Peoria is a river city, but really, Peoria is a music city. And really, everybody who lives here knows that," Conger said. "And this exhibition will bring the most important instrument in modern music to the museum. Of course, the guitar." 

The Peoria Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau is also working with the city, the library, park district, Civic Center and WTVP on guitar-themed events this year.

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Tim Shelley / WCBU /

Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.