Irish Fair to honor longtime supporter Dorothy Day Kittilson
By GWEN ALBERS Western News Reporter
Dorothy Day Kittilson never missed Libby's Irish Fair.
The annual one-day festival was a time to celebrate her heritage and her birthday and reunite with her 10 children.
The 12th annual Irish Fair on Saturday, March 10, will be held without Kittilson, who died Oct. 22, 2006, at 90. This year's event will be dedicated in Kittilson's memory. Nine of her children from as far away as Wisconsin are expected to attend.
"It's just going to be really nice, but it's going to be hard for us," said Sara Hedahl, who lived with her mom in Libby during the two years before her death. "She was always a happy person and never looked back. She had all the Irish gear as far as the beads and pins and dressed (for the fair)."
The fair runs from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Memorial Center. It will include an arts and crafts fair, entertainment, food booths, carnival, raffles and a soda bread baking contest. Admission is free.
The band New Shilling will perform at 7 p.m. at the Memorial Center. Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased at Mountain Meadows and Cabinet Books & Music.
The Irish Fair board dedicated this year's event in Kittilson's memory because of her enthusiasm for the event.
"She kind of formed her family reunions around the Irish Fair," said Bob DeBorde, co-chairman for the board.
"She was wheelchair bound but just really got around and would clap her hands and tap her feet to the music," added DeBorde's wife, Georgette. "She just had a lot of fun."
Kittilson also was a great supporter of the fair.
"Through the years, when we really needed some support, she helped," Bob DeBorde said. "Her daughters continue to be supports."
Kittilson's daughter Sharon Weber made a quilt for this year's raffle. Daughter Ella Myers donated a cookie bouquet.
Kittilson's birthday was on March 1, which is why the family gathered at the festival to celebrate. On her 85th birthday, 57 family members attended.
"They had dance classes and we filled them," Hedahl said.
Kittilson's children expected this Saturday include Weber, Hazel Day and Bob Day, all from Post Falls, Idaho; Myers from Richland, Wash.; Donna Leatherberry of Baraboo, Wis.; Aggie Sunell of Priest River, Idaho; Dennis Day of Libby; and Pat Day of Missoula. Don Day from Lufkin, Texas, will not make it.
Several of Kittilson's 42 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren and 13 great-great-grandchildren also are expected.