The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

June 23, 2013

Jo Ellis: Many improvements come to Carthage

CARTHAGE, Mo. — The city, it is a-changin’.

A brief survey around Carthage reveals many improvements that have taken place or will be occurring soon.

Have you noticed the four large pedestal urns that have been installed in Central Park? Centered in 30-foot beds, the wide basins atop the pedestals will be planted soon with blooming annuals by members of the Dogwood Garden Club. Drift roses and other plantings will encircle the urns.

After their entry into the Carthage Parks Department’s “Adopt-a-Park” program last year, members of the Dogwood Garden Club raised about $15,000 through local foundations, including the Steadley Trust, the Carthage Community Foundation and the Carthage Rotary Club, to redesign the beds and purchase the urns. The project has been assisted with a lot of weeding, concrete and dirt work provided by the Parks and Recreation Department.

Carthage Rotary Club members will distribute mulch and complete the plantings soon. The club is fresh off a huge assist with Kids Fishing Day; you have to acknowledge that those Rotarians are generous with their time and money.

The garden club’s Central Park Committee, comprising Carol McRoy, Susan Knost, Jackie Boyer and Miriam Putnam, will be planting soon, too. Plans are to continue the club’s fundraising effort to add irrigation and lighting systems as well as more plantings, and to keep the beds professionally maintained.

These improvements will enhance the garden ambience already created by the park’s bandstand, reflecting pool and fountain. The site is directly across from the Carthage library gardens, and the combination offers a greenscape environment to the city’s center that is attractive and soothing to residents and travelers alike.

That’s not all that’s new.

The always popular eatery Dos Arcos seems to be doing a booming business after relocating from River Street to a larger building on South Garrison Avenue. The Mexican restaurant is now more accessible with a larger parking area and on a main thoroughfare.

Also on South Garrison, the China Taste Buffet has relocated to the former KFC location. The building was attractively renovated inside and out, and drive-through service has been added. The usual sit-down service can be enjoyed in a nice, clean and cool atmosphere. The business is open from 7 a. m. to 9 p.m.

The Big Weiner has moved from Central Avenue to 500 S. Main St., a block off the southwest corner of the square. With five times its original space, it can now seat 28. The restaurant has added at least four new styles of hot dogs and spaghetti red to its menu. Hours have been extended from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., and soon the business will start serving breakfasts.

And anyone looking for the Kansas City barbecue wagon that used to set up along Route HH, in the strip mall across from Lowe’s, will find it on South Garrison Avenue in front of Aldi’s. Delicious pulled pork, beef brisket, spareribs, coleslaw and potato salad are being served.

I’ve come to the conclusion that Carthaginians are a hungry lot, and there’s lots of competition for their appetite.

Then there are the fireworks stands that are popping up all over the city. Did you know that there are applications for 1,350 fireworks displays in the state? I think a quarter of them are in Carthage. Let the fun begin.

ADDRESS CORRESPONDENCE to Jo Ellis, c/o The Joplin Globe, Box 7, Joplin, MO 64802 or email

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