MARION - Colorful and entertaining might best describe the three performances of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory" this past weekend at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center.
More than 100 children from seven counties in Southern Illinois played a role - both big and small - in the musical's success. Ages of the performers ranged from kindergarten through high school senior.
The lead character - Wonka - was portrayed by Kyler Ogden of Carterville, a senior at CHS. Charlie Bucket was played by Konnor Doughty, a sixth-grader at Our Lady of Mount Carmel School in Herrin.
Director Tim Robinson of Cartervile said he was relieved that the performances were not only well attended but enjoyed.
"We had great turnouts, about 2,500 plus," Robinson said. "The kids did a great job of executing their lines and entertaining the crowds. They deserve all the credit."