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Having a ball at the Rend Lake Water Festival

  • The Marching Rangers drew rounds of applause from the crowds lining the street near the Benton Square.

    The Marching Rangers drew rounds of applause from the crowds lining the street near the Benton Square.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Brandon McReynolds and Christy Jasper chose a visit to the Rend Lake Water Festival carnival this past weekend to help celebrate two years of going together. The Benton couple shared some tasty carnival food before enjoying some of the rides on the midway. Asked which ride he would be trying, McReynolds replied, 'Any one she wants to!'

    Brandon McReynolds and Christy Jasper chose a visit to the Rend Lake Water Festival carnival this past weekend to help celebrate two years of going together. The Benton couple shared some tasty carnival food before enjoying some of the rides on the midway. Asked which ride he would be trying, McReynolds replied, 'Any one she wants to!'
    Ceasar Maragni photo

  • Ovanjolene Renee Finstad, 6, tried her hand at trying to ring the bell on this carnival attraction Friday night at the Rend Lake Water Festival in Benton. She was with mom Keith and Amanda Finstad of Christopher.

    Ovanjolene Renee Finstad, 6, tried her hand at trying to ring the bell on this carnival attraction Friday night at the Rend Lake Water Festival in Benton. She was with mom Keith and Amanda Finstad of Christopher.
    Ceasar Maragni photo

  • It may have been her first parade, but it didn't take long for 2-year-old Briar Cosens of Herrin to figure out, with a little help from her dad, Zachary, how to collect the candy that was thrown. Briar's mom, Mariah (not pictured), was tasked with holding the bag of candy.

    It may have been her first parade, but it didn't take long for 2-year-old Briar Cosens of Herrin to figure out, with a little help from her dad, Zachary, how to collect the candy that was thrown. Briar's mom, Mariah (not pictured), was tasked with holding the bag of candy.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The Ewing Northern Grade School band scrapped its uniforms, dressing instead in purple 'Makanda Strong' shirts in honor of their classmate, Makanda Williams, who passed away last week after a year-long battle with DIPG.

    The Ewing Northern Grade School band scrapped its uniforms, dressing instead in purple 'Makanda Strong' shirts in honor of their classmate, Makanda Williams, who passed away last week after a year-long battle with DIPG.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The Little Mrs. and Miss Rend Lake pageant winners were crowned on Friday evening. This year's royalty included (from left) Savannah Morris, age 2-4 winner; and Kyler Followell and Kynslee Perkins, age 5-8 winners.

    The Little Mrs. and Miss Rend Lake pageant winners were crowned on Friday evening. This year's royalty included (from left) Savannah Morris, age 2-4 winner; and Kyler Followell and Kynslee Perkins, age 5-8 winners.
    Courtesy of Karen Mullins

  • Raylynn Alexander of Johnston City (middle) enjoyed the carnival on Friday evening courtesy of the family of Makanda Williams. The family, including Makanda's sister, Addie (left) and twin brother, Connor, treated three area children to arm bands and spending money for the carnival to kick off the "Random Act of Kindness" campaign in honor of Makanda, who lost her battle to DIPG last week.  Friday would have been Makanda's 11th birthday.

    Raylynn Alexander of Johnston City (middle) enjoyed the carnival on Friday evening courtesy of the family of Makanda Williams. The family, including Makanda's sister, Addie (left) and twin brother, Connor, treated three area children to arm bands and spending money for the carnival to kick off the "Random Act of Kindness" campaign in honor of Makanda, who lost her battle to DIPG last week. Friday would have been Makanda's 11th birthday.
    Holly Kee photo

  • The 'Random Act of Kindness' movement to honor Makanda Williams started with a bang. Raylynn Alexander (left) enjoyed the carnival Friday night, courtesy of Makanda's family, and even met some new friends, like Macy Glasser, along the way.

    The 'Random Act of Kindness' movement to honor Makanda Williams started with a bang. Raylynn Alexander (left) enjoyed the carnival Friday night, courtesy of Makanda's family, and even met some new friends, like Macy Glasser, along the way.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Among those enjoying the super slide at the carnival Friday night was Caylee Fletcher, attending with her parents and older brother. Caylee's parents are David and Melody Fletcher of Benton.

    Among those enjoying the super slide at the carnival Friday night was Caylee Fletcher, attending with her parents and older brother. Caylee's parents are David and Melody Fletcher of Benton.
    Ceasar Maragni photo

 
Posted on 5/9/2018, 1:00 AM

The 47th annual Rend Lake Water Festival was held over the weekend in Benton,