Kirkland grows by thousands for Fourth of July festival

KIRKLAND – Jennifer Garman came all the way from Minneapolis to attend the Kirkland Lions’ 66th annual Fourth of July celebration last weekend.

Actually, the Minnesota woman was visiting friends in Roscoe when they decided to attend.

“We thought it sounded like fun, so we brought our kids out for a good time,” Kathy Brockman of Roscoe said.

“For a small town, there’s a lot here,” Garman said.

The women were among thousands who flocked to Kirkland for the three-day celebration. They said they were impressed with the variety of activities, which included a parade, carnival rides, a flea market, a car and truck show, food booths, live entertainers, a Ms. Fourth of July contest, bags tournament, karaoke, water fights, a Hiawatha School open house, and a huge fireworks show Saturday night.

It was the car show that brought Rick Pittman of Sycamore out for the fourth straight year. Accompanied by his children, Ruben, 5, Grace, 4, and Violet, 2, he said it was a good chance to give his wife a little time to herself.

Steve and Dawn Conti of Rockford said they were attending for the sixth time because they like the small town atmosphere of Kirkland.

“Rockford’s too busy,” Steve Conti said.

Every year, Steve Conti said, the couple and their children, Anthony, 10, and Brianna, 6, buy T-shirts with the American flag and the year on them.

“It’s patriotic, and it helps us keep an eye on the kids,” he said.

Dawn Conti said Kirkland has the best fireworks show in the area, and she and her husband like that they can stake out a place on the high school football field where the fireworks are shot and just leave their things without worrying about anyone taking them.

Proceeds from the celebration go towards the various projects the Kirkland Lions Club supports throughout the year.

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