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Daniel Brower

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 This year in Carthage, Missouri, the 51st Annual Maple Leaf Festival, an event that lasts from September 30 till October 29, was held. The festival is full of many events throughout Carthage, each day having different events for the townsfolk and tourists to enjoy, with the largest events taking place on Oct 21: this year centered around the large Maple Leaf Parade. Several competitions center around the parade as well, including a car show and a marching band competition.  

 This year, our own Carl Junction Band took first in their class in the marching section of the marching band competition, and second in all marching bands. Sophomore Ben Fisk thinks it “went really well, and the weather was great. It was a little windy, but you can’t complain.” The parade had many different bands perform, from a less traditional performance of “I Love Rock and Roll” by Ash Grove, to the more a traditional marching performance put on by Seneca.  

 The parade had much on display from political floats, ads, bands, and even a Star Wars themed performance by the Rebel 9 organization. The whole area was on display during this celebration of Carthage history and local fun.  

 Among the other events on show, there was a car show featuring many collectible cars such as model T’s, old Corvettes, and even an original Model A. This was held alongside a tractor show featuring many tractors from throughout the ages.  

 The festival also featured many smaller events throughout its 26 days. Some of these smaller events include bicycle tours, dog shows, historical exhibits, and a carnival.   

 The festival was started in the 1960’s, taking its name from the fall leaves that always surround the events. The festival grew around the parade, which, according to the Maple Leaf website, draws around 80,000 people annually.

 This local event has been drawing people to the area for 51 years, providing fun, competition and business for the local community. Hopefully the event will continue to see success in the years to come!

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