INDEPENDENCE DAY

Roasted corn, funnel cake and live music: Leander's Liberty Fest draws hundreds on Independence Day

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Leander's annual music-focused Fourth of July celebration, Liberty Fest, drew hundreds of people on Thursday evening to sit back and relax with a bevy of live performances and fireworks at night.

The festival began at 5 p.m. near the San Gabriel Campus of Austin Community College on a wide and flat grass field. Guests trickled in with their lawn chairs, tents and cameras through a bag check at the entrance and set themselves up in various locations on the field.

Many sat and chatted with their friends and family, awaiting the fireworks that were set to begin at 9:25 p.m.

Those who wanted to dance or hear the live music closely situated themselves near the front, but some who attended kept themselves much further away from the music to protect their children's ears from the loud sounds. That was the case for Matthew Rolfe, a two-year resident of Leander who sat with his child on a lawn chair far away from the stage.

"We could have stayed around  the neighborhood and saw the illegal fireworks, but we decided to come out here to see the official ones by the city," Rolfe said.

"We hope they're good," he said.

The lineup of music included Jason Boland & The Stragglers performing at 6 p.m. and Mike Ryan at 8 p.m.

Elsewhere on the field, nearby the Kids Zone, a cordoned off area with various activities for children that cost $10 to enter,  children had their faces painted with American flags, birds and blue bonnets.

Lanardius Palmer, a food vendor at the event, said that the best part of being at the festival as a vendor was seeing attendees come back for second helpings because they enjoyed the food so much.

 "[The festival] is a good way to bring people together," Palmer said.

Still, some at the event weren't completely satisfied with the amount of vendors available. "I think there should be more booths," said Leann Kawecki, an attendee at Liberty Fest. Still, Kawecki said that the event was "pretty cool" and that she enjoyed the music.

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