Central Park lit up Friday night with a blend of live music, food, drinks and vendors at the Hannibal Rotary Club’s Fiesta Del Sol.
The annual event is the club’s largest fundraiser. The 2019 festival moved from Saturday to Friday evening, sporting a new look defined by colorful tables throughout the park, Tiki torches surrounding the tasting area and strings of lights overhead. Three bands took the stage, and Chairperson Barb Crane said the new look and day complemented the traditional mixture of food, local vendors, craft beer tasting and live music.
"I’m really excited," she said. "So this is our first Fiesta Friday. We’re hoping for a bigger crowd, we changed the music up a little bit, added a little more festive atmosphere."
Carson Bock, an up-and-coming country singer/songwriter from Palmyra started the musical entertainment, and Crane mentioned he tried out for "The Voice." Trixie Delight performed a mixture of songs from the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s, and the Gus Page Trio delivered a jam style performance with elements of rock, reggae and blues.
Page said he enjoyed the chance to perform for the first time at Fiesta Del Sol in the heart of town.
"It seems like a nice little hometown event," Page said. "Those are the best kind, right? We were talking about how we were excited to have our music reverberates through downtown Hannibal here."
During their set, the band played renditions of Stevie Ray Vaughn’s "Texas Flood" and Tom Petty’s "Refugee."
Bill Dees, Hannibal Rotary Club secretary, said the event allowed visitors to enjoy the food, craft beer tasting, music and other attractions while helping to give back to a group dedicated to supporting the community through scholarships, donations and projects throughout the year.
"It’s basically ‘down line’ — you raise money, and then you give that money back into the community," Dees said.
Between 18 and 20 organizations benefit from the Hannibal Rotary Club, Dees said, and members decided to organize a large annual gift two years ago. In April, they donated $15,000 to Douglass Community Services to buy a delivery van for Super Suppers after-school meals.
The day’s early rainfall cleared out just in time for the start of the festivities at 4 p.m., and the crowd grew about threefold within the first hour. Crane said the weather was "just perfect," with cool temperatures and no rain in sight. She looked forward to an evening dedicated to helping the Hannibal Rotary Club make a local impact with projects and donations throughout the year.
"I think it’s a great philanthropic group, and I love how they help the community, and you still get to have fun on top of it," she said.