Although the crowd that filled Hannibal's Central Park on Saturday, June 24, came to have a good time while they listened to six bands play and enjoyed food and drinks, the festival is also one of the Rotary Club of Hannibal's main fundraisers.

Although the crowd that filled Hannibal's Central Park on Saturday, June 24, came to have a good time while they listened to six bands play and enjoyed food and drinks, the festival is also one of the Rotary Club of Hannibal's main  fundraisers.

Amy Ohnemus, chairperson of the Fiesta Del Sol, said, “Everything we make goes back to the community through grants. ... The club gave (a total of ) $25,000 over the last year to a lot of agencies.”

The next fundraiser will be participating in the Harvest Hootenanny at Mark Twain Cave on Sept. 22 and 23. Another will be selling knackwurst and brats at the Autumn Historic Folklife Festival on Oct. 21 and 22.

One special event at Fiesta Del Sol was an $8,000 donation the Rotary Club presented to Kirsten Alvey-Mudd, director of the Missouri Bat Census.

At the Missouri Bat Census booth, Alvey-Mudd later said she was surprised and grateful to receive this $8,000 donation. She explained it will be used locally for the Sodalis Nature Preserve for items such as equipment for science projects. “It will stay in town and be used by schools and individuals doing studies or city science projects.”

Alvey-Mudd was using a small medical syringe to feed a 3-week-old baby bat that was among two brought to her during Fiesta Del Sol. She was told the baby bats' mother was attacked by a cat and died. “They will go to the rescue and rehab center,” she said. “We will raise them and release them (in Hannibal).”

Many people attending Fiesta Del Sol were Hannibal area residents, but some made a longer trip.

Kaitlin Doty of St. Louis was celebrating her 30th birthday by meeting 15 family members and friends from two states at the festival. Among them was Jan Perone of Springfield, Ill. This was the second year Doty chose to have her birthday celebration at Fiesta Del Sol.

See photo gallery for more pictures of Fiesta Del Sol.

Reach reporter Bev Darr at bev.darr@courierpost.com.