Photos by Carla Waters

American Legion Post 23 Commander Lyle Kofoot speaks to the audience at the opening ceremony for the Watseka Family Festival Sept. 21, 2019, as Mayor John Allhands, Earl Kroll and John Marshino listen.

The American Legion Post 23 and the City of Watseka’s Family Festival committee welcomed the gatherers at Legion Park Saturday morning.

The opening ceremony for the festival took place at 11 a.m. at the War Memorial in Legion Park.

Commander Lyle Kofoot read about the presentation of the American flag as it was presented.

First United Methodist Church Pastor Kara Berg gave the invocation and Earl Kroll sang “The Star Spangled Banner”.

John Marshino, a member of the committee, said “We would like to thank American Legion Post 23 for all their work, dedication and support to allow us to have this event in this beautiful park. We approached them and hands down they accepted us and they have bent over backwards for our festival.”

The festival committee, city officials and Iroquois County Fair Queen Brianne Miller presented each of the Legion members with a commemorative coin. A wooden American flag was also presented to the Legion by the committee.

The Legion is celebrating it’s 100th anniversary this year, both locally and nationally.

The coin reads “The American Legion 100 Years” on the front and “US American Legion” on the back.

Mayor John Allhands welcomed everyone. “Thank you all for coming out. The park is beautiful.” He commended the committee and the Legion for the work they did.

“Enjoy the festivities,” he said.

The Legion also conducted an open house from 1-4 p.m.

The day included Toddler Olympics, bounce houses, a farmers market, a band shell with a number of bands performing throughout the day, vendors offering wares for sale, a martial arts event, a petting zoo and other events. Comedian Gallagher headlined the day.