PEORIA — Is Peoria on track to become the Cinnamon Roll Capital of America?

The evidence is piling up, bigger every year, as I’ll explain in a moment.

But first, I again have the pleasure to announce the yearly holiday fundraiser starring Jumer’s cinnamon rolls. Courtyard Estates of Peoria, the retirement center at the former Castle Lodge, 117 N. Western Ave., is about to launch its fourth annual sale. The fundraiser started two years ago after a column here waxing nostalgic about things I missed about Peoria of yore, including the cinnamon rolls.

Proceeds will benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital — including the Dax Foundation’s Camp Hope, which raises money to send St. Jude kids to summer camp. So far, the annual event has raised $50,000, which proves how willing we are to selflessly gobble sweets in the name of charity.

The announcement of the sale can spark excitement and anxiety — the former, because the rolls are delicious, and the latter because the rolls go fast. In past years, Courtyard Estates sometimes has had to end orders early, prompting a lot of complaint calls to yours truly. Look, I’m no baker, and I have no hidden stash of rolls. So, don’t blame me if you’re not on the ball.

Phone orders (the only way to make an order) will start Nov. 1 and run until supplies last, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays. Call (309) 674-2400.

Rolls are sold in packages of two dozen for $10. Pick-up days are just before Thanksgiving, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Nov. 19 and 20.

Last year, the sale reached 2,300 dozen rolls, says Sherry Arrowsmith, Courtyard Estate’s marketing and admissions, as well as its chief cinnamon-roll baker.

“Good news,” she says. “I am working as fast as possible, and we are on track to have more rolls than last year.”

She is aiming to get to 2,800 dozen rolls. Now, I’m not sure if a total of 33,600 would make Peoria the Cinnamon Roll Capital of America. But as far as I can tell, no city has claimed that title.

Earlier this year, an Oregon bakery shattered a Guinness World Record by baking a 1,149-pound cinnamon roll. But that’s just one roll, or 33,599 short of the Courtyard Estates goal.

Actually, I don’t think there’s a Cinnamon Roll Capital of the World. Why not Peoria?

I say, go put some big ol’ signs greeting visitors as they drive into town: “Welcome to Peoria, Cinnamon Roll Capital of the Universe.” Maybe other cities might try to pose a challenge, but would they be able to beat the Jumer’s recipe? Not a chance.

PHIL LUCIANO can be reached at, and (309)686-3155. Follow him on