Some history from their web site reveals: "The Spirit of Peoria was built in Paducah, Kentucky in 1988 by Walker Boat Yard. It is solely propelled by its stern driven paddle wheel. The wheel, composed only of fiberglass and wood, has 68 bucket boards and is 22 feet in diameter. The paddle wheel is powered by two Caterpillar 3412 diesel engines that turn 350kw generator sets."
We boarded, were shown to our seats and learned that we were guests at the Sheridan family anniversary party, and were seated with none other than Mr. and Mrs. Sheridan, the guests of honor.
After being greeted by our captain, we learned that nine paddle boats shut down this year and that the Spirit of Peoria is the only one currently offering overnight cruises.
Our seating location made for an interesting evening as throughout our prime rib buffet dinner we were able to chat with and pick up clues from the Sheridans and their guests who stopped by the table.
Soon, the dastardly deed was committed and we had to take our best guess at who the culprit was.
The show was put on by the Champaign Urbana Theater Company, and all involved did a great job.
Only seven people on board guessed the murderer correctly, and my husband and I were not among them.
We especially enjoyed the atmosphere of the boat, and look forward to boarding again sometime soon in the warmer months so we can enjoy being out on deck.
The Spirit offers many cruises and excursions throughout the year, as well as some upcoming holiday events.