Greater Peoria Tailgater

The Bears Radio Network and ESPN Chicago are bringing the preseason party to Peoria. Join us for an action-packed afternoon of football-related festivities – including a LIVE broadcast of Chicago’s own Waddle and Silvy!

Read the Press Release

Join us on Monday, August 14th

Bring your family, friends, neighbors and co-workers and spend an hour or two — or the entire afternoon — with us. Test your skills in some football-style challenges, enjoy games, live music, food trucks, giveaways, and more! Mark your calendars and keep an eye on this page for updates to the schedule as we get closer to the day.

Tailgater Party: noon-6 p.m. (Peoria Riverfront and lawn of the Peoria Riverfront Museum)
Live Broadcast of ESPN Chicago's Waddle and Silvy show: 2-6 p.m. (Sun Plaza of the Peoria Riverfront Museum)
After Party with live music from Top 4D: 6-8 p.m. (Peoria Riverfront)

  • NFL Style Combine (Free to participate)
  • Main stage with local student showcases
  • Free giveaways
  • Photo opportunities
  • Food trucks and bars for the adults
  • Yard games for the whole family

(Available for purchase)

  • Jane's Sweet Addictions
  • The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern
  • Bill's Lemonade Shakeups
  • Gramma Nana's
  • Grill 'Em All
  • Hilltop Grill
  • PPD Bar
  • Barrack's Bar
  • Martini's Bar
  • Popcorn Heaven
  • Tony's on Wheels
  • This family-friendly event is FREE to attend. Food and beverage will be available for purchase.
  • The parking deck at the Peoria Riverfront Museum will be open. Street parking will also be available.

Event Map

The Greater Peoria Tailgater will be an experience like never before. Check out the lay of the land and plan your stops for an afternoon of fun, food and football-related festivities!


Partners and Participating Schools

Thank you to our community partners and participating schools! (Keep watching for updates.)

  • Peoria Riverfront Museum
  • Peoria Police Department
  • Peoria Park District
  • The Doug Oberhelman Caterpillar Visitors Center
  • ShaZam Racing
  • The Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern
  • RC Outfitters
  • Martini's on Water Street
  • Creve Coeur Club of Peoria
  • 4Verticals Academy
  • Eureka College
  • Bradley University
  • Richwoods High School
  • Peoria High School
  • Manual High School
  • Illinois Central College
  • Coach Bre Cottage Cheerleading and Dance Company
  • ARTInc.
  • Peoria Drumline

ESPN Chicago/Bears Radio Network Talent

ESPN 1000 and Bears Radio Network celebrities will be in the River City, ready to meet and engage with fans during the event. A live broadcast of ESPN Chicago's Waddle and Silvy show will take place on the Sun Deck of the Peoria Riverfront Museum from 2-6 p.m. 


Tom Waddle

Fan favorite and Bear alum Tom Waddle arrived at ESPN Chicago in 2007 following a successful 10-year run co-hosting SportsCenter on WGN-AM. He is a beloved Chicago athlete and one of the hottest afternoon show hosts in the city. Together with Marc Silverman, the afternoon drive show “Waddle & Silvy” has become must-listen radio for Chicago sports fans. 

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Marc "Silvy" Silverman

Marc “Silvy” Silverman has been with the ESPN 1000 family since 1998, starting as the station’s Bears beat reporter. He’s a proud Chicago native and diehard Cubs, Bulls and Bears fan. He is a fan favorite, co-hosting the Waddle & Silvy show with Tom Waddle as well as co-hosting the Bears Radio Network Pre-Game and Halftime Show. 

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Jeff Joniak

Jeff Joniak is the voice of the Bears Radio Broadcast. Entering his 23rd season as the Bears play-by-play announcer, he was selected by the NSMA as the 2022 Illinois Sportscaster of the Year and named to the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame in 2019. He's earned multiple Associated Press awards as well as the Silver Dome Award for “Best Play-by-Play."

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Tom Thayer

Tom Thayer is the color analyst of the Bears Radio Broadcast. He was a member of the 1985 Chicago Bears team that won the Super Bowl under coach Mike Ditka. Prior to his NFL career, he was a member of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team where he was named an honorable All-American and graduated with a degree in media communications. 

Let's stay connected!

Join us on our social media channels where we'll be sharing more event updates and news about the Greater Peoria region.