CARTHAGE, Mo. —
The lineup will include marching bands, Maple Leaf grand marshals Pat and Carolyn Phelps, floats and politicians when the 46th annual Maple Leaf parade starts at 9 a.m. Saturday on the courthouse square in Carthage.
Well over 200 entries will be featured in the parade, which is billed as the longest parade in the region. Other entries include Maple Leaf queen Madison Kaempfe and other parade royalty, Willie Arthur Smith’s Marching Cobras, horse teams and riders from several clubs, Shriners from throughout the region, and politicians, including many candidates on election ballots in November.
“We have 186 actual entries, but more than one-third of them have more than one vehicle as part of their entry,” said Neely Myers, with the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, which is the overall sponsor of Maple Leaf activities.
The theme of this year’s festival — “From Tradition to Today” — will be reflected on many of the entries, including decorated floats, said Janine Poe, Maple Leaf committee chairwoman.
The parade normally brings large crowds to Carthage, and those planning to attend will have to look for parking and should be prepared to walk, said Capt. Randee Kaiser, assistant chief of the Carthage Police Department.
Jasper County sheriff’s deputies and reserve officers, Carthage Police Explorers, and police officers from Webb City, Carl Junction and Carterville will help Carthage police work the event.
There will be 32 manned roadblocks, and officers at each one will have listings of the parade lineup and maps of downtown to help people who need directions or who are disabled and need to find designated parking areas. Chamber members on golf carts also will provide information.
Events are scheduled throughout the day Saturday, including a pancake feed, sales of crafts and concessions, a children’s corner, a car show, an antique car and tractor show, a community dog show, a wine festival, and a Marching Cobras performance.
In addition, dozens of bands will compete in the Maple Leaf Marching Band Festival, set for noon to 10 p.m. at K.E. Baker Football Stadium. The Maple Leaf Quilt Show is on display at the Powers Museum, with hours from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday.
Two events new to the festival are set for Sunday, both at Municipal Park. The Maple Leaf Chili Fest will be held from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and the Maple Leaf K-9 Leap and Dash is set for 2 p.m. at the Jasper County fairgrounds inside the park.
Brats on the square will be sold from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. today, and Bluegrass in the Woodshed is set for 7:30 p.m. at Emporium on the square.