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Rend Lake fireworks bring out thousands

  • People lined the areas around the Rend Lake spillway and dam, and about 100 boats gathered on the lake to watch the fireworks display Saturday. The annual event drew about 9,000 visitors to the area. 'The crowds were amazing,' said Karen Mullins, executive director of the Benton/West City Chamber, host for the event.

    People lined the areas around the Rend Lake spillway and dam, and about 100 boats gathered on the lake to watch the fireworks display Saturday. The annual event drew about 9,000 visitors to the area. 'The crowds were amazing,' said Karen Mullins, executive director of the Benton/West City Chamber, host for the event.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Hayden Snider, 2, of Benton made some new friends at the petting zoo. The Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo proved to be a favorite, sporting an assortment of animals including goats, sheep and llamas. Hayden's parents are Brandon Snider and Kayla Williams.

    Hayden Snider, 2, of Benton made some new friends at the petting zoo. The Rainbow Ranch Petting Zoo proved to be a favorite, sporting an assortment of animals including goats, sheep and llamas. Hayden's parents are Brandon Snider and Kayla Williams.
    Holly Kee photo

  • A crowd of about 9,000 gathered for the annual fireworks display at Rend Lake Saturday. The event was sponsored by the Benton/West City Chamber of Commerce.

    A crowd of about 9,000 gathered for the annual fireworks display at Rend Lake Saturday. The event was sponsored by the Benton/West City Chamber of Commerce.
    Holly Kee photo

  • David Morris of Marion and Sharon Hubbard of Tamaroa found each other in the crowd Saturday. Both are volunteers at the campground at Rend Lake. Although the two had not met, Morris, 3, recognized Hubbard's Army Corps of Engineers patch.

    David Morris of Marion and Sharon Hubbard of Tamaroa found each other in the crowd Saturday. Both are volunteers at the campground at Rend Lake. Although the two had not met, Morris, 3, recognized Hubbard's Army Corps of Engineers patch.
    Holly Kee photo

  • Ayden Arview, 2, of West Frankfort found a toy to his liking at a vendor booth as his parents, Mary and Loren, browsed the various booths prior to the fireworks show. There were several unique vendors including disc golf, a wood artisan and a booth featuring different 'rocket' launchers.

    Ayden Arview, 2, of West Frankfort found a toy to his liking at a vendor booth as his parents, Mary and Loren, browsed the various booths prior to the fireworks show. There were several unique vendors including disc golf, a wood artisan and a booth featuring different 'rocket' launchers.
    Holly Kee photo

 
 
updated: 7/4/2017 11:32 PM

About 9,000 people packed the area around the Rend Lake Visitors Center Saturday evening for the annual fireworks display sponsored by the Benton/West City Chamber of Commerce.

"We couldn't have asked for a nicer day for families to come out and enjoy the festival and fireworks," chamber executive director Karen Mullins said. "The crowds were amazing."

The event got its start for America's bicentennial in 1976.

This year's events featured a variety of vendors and activities including a petting zoo, disc golf, laser tag, inflatables and more.

"Our volunteers and community partners worked hard to make it the best event yet," Mullins said.