January 2020 Dozens of customers line up before sunrise Wednesday, Jan. 1 outside the NuMed marijuana dispensary in East Peoria, the first day of legal recreational marijuana sales in Illinois. MPSI Security guard Mike DeGroot of Creve Coeur hands out tickets to customers waiting in line early Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the NuMed marijuana dispensary in East Peoria. Members of the “Freak Show,” from left to right: Alison Millinger as a fortune teller, Alyssa Hobson as a knife thrower’s assistant, and Rachel Ivey as a ticket booth, hold hands as they run into the freezing waters of the Illinois River during the annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the East Peoria Boat Club. At far right is their teammate Erin Bowald as a contortionist and in the background is Karen Lozan as a fire-breather. The group of longtime Peoria-area friends have been plunging together for the past nine years and are perennial favorites in the costume contest. A Polar Plunger goes all out as she dives into the freezing water during the annual Polar Plunge on Jan. 1 at the East Peoria Boat Club. Dozens of costumed revelers took the plunge to celebrate the new year and raise money for charities including AMBUCS, Veterans Helping Veterans and Spring Bay Fire and Rescue.A group of men voice their enthusiasm as they hit the frigid waters of the Illinois River during the annual New Year’s Day Polar Plunge on Wednesday, Jan. 1 at the East Peoria Boat Club.Angelbellz, who identifies only by that name when she’s in costume, flashes a big pair of fangs while chatting with friends on the first day of the Animé-Zap! convention Friday, Jan. 3 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Hundreds of cosplay enthusiasts gathered for the three-day event to show off their outfits, take part in panel discussions and share their love of animé and manga culture. Angelbellz is a character from a Japanese superhero manga series called My Hero Academia. A group of cosplayers shop for new outfits at one of the vendor booths during the Animé-Zap convention Friday, Jan. 3 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Carson Wright of Washington sports a sequined outfit like one in the Elton John biopic “Rocketman” as he peruses a dealer booth Friday, Jan. 3 during the Animé-Zap! convention at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. A pair of cosplayers share a quiet moment together during the Animé-Zap! convention Friday, Jan. 3 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Bradley’s Lasha Petree, left, tangles with Evansville’s Lola Bracey on a fast break in the first half Friday, Jan. 3 at Renaissance Coliseum. Bradley defeated Evansville. 82-51. Peoria Notre Dame’s Grant Peterson puts Lincoln’s Trevor Bree in a tough position during the 132-pound final of the Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Morton Community High School. Dunlap wrestlers Ryan Schuck, right, Andrew Schmitt, middle, and Viveck Panicker keep Schmitt’s little sister Eva, 3, entertained between matches during the Bob and Liz Schnarr Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 4 at Morton Community High School. Annabelle Smith, 11, of East Peoria, pets a rabbit while taking in a yoga session Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Pekin Public Library. A dozen or so bunnies roamed the library’s community room as Dr. Kourtney Grimm of Prairie Animal Hospital led about 20 in various yoga poses. The event was a fundraiser for The Charitable Rabbit, a local organization that rescues and fosters adoptable domestic rabbits. A variety of bunny breeds keep yoga enthusiasts entertained during a bunny yoga session hosted by The Charitable Rabbit on Saturday, Jan. 4 at the Pekin Public Library. Charity Gullett, founder of the organization, hopes the event helps raise awareness about abandoned pet rabbits and encourages adoption.Dee-Mack’s Lane Thomann, left, gets a hand on a rebound by IVC’s Peyton Feldman during their game Tuesday, Jan. 7 in Chillicothe. The Grey Ghosts defeated the Chiefs 43-28.Firefighters inspect the damage done to a house Wednesday, Jan. 7 on Landau Lane in Washington. Kim Tegg, left, of Washburn and Denise Cooksey of Peoria, perform on the flute during the Peoria Symphony Orchestra’s monthly night out Wednesday, Jan. 7 at The Twelve Bar, 4500 N. Prospect Road in Peoria Heights. Dunlap head coach Heather Cassaday shouts instructions to her team as they battle Limestone in the first half Friday, Jan. 10 in Dunlap. The Eagles defeated the Rockets 57-46. Limestone’s Alyssa Heerman (15) and Elly Bentley (11) battle for possession with Dunlap’s Sophia Remmel (30) and Elle Sutter in the second half Friday, Jan. 10 in Dunlap. The Eagles defeated the Rockets 57-46. Emily Healey, 9, of Washington Girl Scout Troop 4204 hops like a rabbit during an animal tracking class led by Forest Park Nature Center naturalist Kristi Shoemaker during the Chill Billy winter sporting event Saturday, Jan. 11 at Camp Wokanda. The annual event features fire-building, cast-iron cooking, orienteering, fishing and two endurance races. Fans in the Peoria Notre Dame student section taunt Manual’s Storm Hangen in the second half of their game Tuesday, Jan. 14 at PND High School. Peoria Notre Dame’s Noah Reynolds celebrates after stopping Manual in the final second of the game for a 60-58 victory Tuesday, Jan. 14 at PND High School. Peoria Rivermen goaltender Ryland Pashovitz stops a shot from Pensacola’s Tommaso Bucci in the overtime period Thursday, Jan. 16 at Carver Arena. Peoria’s Jordan Ernst (11) celebrates his first goal of the game with teammates Skyler Smutek and Jordan Carvalho in the first period Thursday, Jan. 16 at Carver Arena. Peoria’s Jordan Ernst puts away the game-winner past Pensacola goaltender Chase Perry in a shootout Thursday, Jan. 16 at Carver Arena. Andrew Smith of Peoria keeps the falling snow off his head with an umbrella as he walks to the bus station Friday, Jan. 17 in Downtown Peoria. A pair of pedestrians make their way on a snowy sidewalk Friday, Jan. 17 in Downtown Peoria. Alesund Rodriguez, 2, right, of St. Louis, gets an autograph from former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Bernard Gilkey during the Cardinals Caravan on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Jeff Wiegand, right, and his son Max, 11, of Eureka share a smile as they listen to St. Louis Cardinals players during the Cardinals Caravan on Friday, Jan. 17 at the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Daniel Ponce de Leon chats with a young fan during an autograph session Friday, Jan. 17 at the Cardinals Caravan in the Embassy Suites in East Peoria. Brightly-colored lights swirl in the background as youngsters roller skate Saturday, Jan. 18 at Planet X Rollerworld, 2075 Edgewater Drive in Pekin. The popular attraction hosted five birthday parties in the afternoon and a 70s Music Night later that evening. Tabitha Seelye of Pekin helps her daughter Kendyl, 3, learn to roller skate during an open skating session Saturday, Jan. 18 at Planet X Rollerworld in North Pekin. Bradley’s Ari Boya (1) and Ville Tahvanainen (23) celebrate Boya’s slam dunk over Northern Iowa’s Justin Dahl on Saturday, Jan. 18 at Carver Arena. Bradley fell to the Panthers 86-71. aley Wallace, left, and Ella Cagwin, right, pressure Lewistown’s Macy Mikulich in the second half Thursday, Jan. 23 in Lewistown. The Lewistown student section keeps the energy high as the Indians battle Brimfield on Thursday, Jan. 23 in Lewistown. No. 2-ranked Lewistown defeated No. 3-ranked Brimfield 78-56. Dozens of pigeons roost on light poles Friday, Jan. 24 spanning the Bob Michel Bridge between Peoria and East Peoria. Washington’s Joey Cape throws Morton’s Jamison Almasy in the 126-pound title match of the Mid-Illini Conference wrestling meet Saturday, Jan. 25 at East Peoria High School. Masseuse and hemp producer Vikki Hibberd rubs down Josh Swank of Peoria during the third annual Winter RiverFront Market on Saturday, Jan. 25 at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. A wide variety of succulents cover a table at grower Kelly Li’s Peoria Succulents display during the Winter RiverFront Market on Saturday, Jan. 24 at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. Light bulbs glow from repurposed pipes and salvaged gears at the “A Repurposed Life” display Saturday, Jan. 25 during the Winter Riverfront Market at the Peoria Riverfront Museum. Dunlap’s Tahra Davis, left, and Whitney Michanicou, right, gang up on Metamora’s Katie Lalumandier on Tuesday, Jan. 28 in Dunlap. Metamora defeated Dunlap 62-50. Bradley’s Koch Bar (12) blocks a shot from Valpo’s Daniel Sackey in the second half Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Carver Arena. Bradley defeated Valpo 80-69. Valpo’s Javon Freeman-Liberty (0) and Bradley’s Ja’Shon Henry chase a loose ball Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Carver Arena. Bradley defeated Valparaiso 80-69. Valparaiso’s Nick Robinson grimaces at being called for a foul late in the second half against Bradley on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at Carver Arena. Bradley defeated Valpo 80-69.Richwoods´ Jaida McCloud comes down on top of Peoria High’s Danali Craig-Edwards on a rebound attempt in the first half Thursday, Jan. 30, at Richwoods High School.Peoria High head coach Meechie Edwards discusses strategy with a player during a game against Richwoods on Thursday, Jan. 30 at Richwoods High School. Peoria High defeated Richwoods 61-55. Peoria High’s Jada Smith (3) jumps for joy after her basket gave the Lions a two-point lead late in the game against Richwoods on Thursday, Aug. 30 at Richwoods High School. Richwoods tied it up in the final seconds to force overtime, but lost 61-55. About 50 drummers pound out a beat during “Rhythm In The Forest” on Friday, Jan. 31 at Forest Park Nature Center. Music teacher Natasha Greene of Peoria has been hosting the drum circle on the last Friday of every month for a little over a year now. Drummers can use the drums that Greene provides, or you can bring your own. Drummers keep the beat during “Rhythm In The Forest” on Friday, Jan. 31 at Forest Park Nature Center. Emmy Cox, left, Skyler Kohlhagan, middle, both 11, Sam Malmgren, 10, sitting on the floor, and Renee Fonseca, 11, of Girll Scout Troop 4268 drum with enthusiasm during “Rhythm In The Forest” on Friday, Jan. 31 at Forest Park Nature Center.