Spirit Of Kansas: Fun, Food, Festivities, Freedom

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TOPEKA, Kansas (WIBW) -- The Spirit of Kansas Fourth of July festival went out with a bang, like it always does every year. Fireworks topped off the perfect day of celebrating America's independence.

Each year Shawnee County puts on one heck of a fireworks display for the finale of the Spirit of Kansas. The fireworks, along with lots of other fun activities brings out quite the crowd to Lake Shawnee.

"The park has been busy the whold day with the craft festival, the blues fest, and later tonight with the fireworks, people come out and spend the whold day pretty much out here," Recreation Program Coordinator for Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Jennifer Wegener said.

The festivities went throughout the entire day, kicking off in the morning with a golf tournament and a car show which brought back nostalgic memories with its impressive hot rods. Rows of craft booths and vendors and kids activities had a little something for everybody.

"It's been wonderful, it's been very busy out here, it's a pleasant day, the weather is wonderful," vendor Lisa Kanatzer said. "It's a great fourth of July."

The day wrapped up with a water ski show and blues fest, featuring an impressive line-up with local and national award-winning bands.

Sherry Lorence's boyfriend plays in one of the bands. "Everybody seems to be - there's more people than last year - and I think they're having a great time."

When it comes down to it, all the fun, food and festivities is a tribute and celebration to freedom.

"We're free, and I want to bless all the soldiers that's out there," festival-goer Cleone Barker said.

The fireworks were mostly donated by Capitol Federal Savings, which sponsored the event. More than $25,000 worth of fireworks exploded over the lake Thursday night.