Maple Leaf 2018

Col. Ron Millard, of the Jasper County Sheriff’s Posse, leads the Maple Leaf Parade in 2018. Globe file

1. It’s the primary Maple Leaf Festival weekend in Carthage, and that means it’s time for one of the biggest events of the season. The annual Maple Leaf Parade, which draws thousands to the city, will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Carthage square. There’s also plenty more Maple Leaf festivities scheduled beyond the parade, so check out carthagechamber.com/maple-leaf for the full list of events.

2. Another parade also is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday: the 2021 homecoming parade at Pittsburg (Kansas) State University. It will feature bands, floats and other parade entries from Pittsburg and surrounding towns. The parade route extends along Broadway from 11th Street to Second Street. The homecoming game versus Lincoln University will follow in the afternoon.

3. Pumpkin season is here, and preschoolers and their families are welcome at a free pumpkin-themed class at 1 p.m. Saturday in the Wildcat Education Cottage near Shoal Creek. The Wildcat Glades Friends Group will teach children how pumpkins grow, and there also will be a story, a song and pumpkin decorating. To ensure there are enough pumpkins to go around, registration is required by calling 417-708-7713 or emailing lauren@wildcatglades.org.

4. If you’re a history buff, you might want to visit George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond for a discussion of archaeological investigations. Join a park ranger at 1 p.m. Sunday to celebrate International Archaeology Day and learn about some of the historical artifacts uncovered at the Carver site over the years. Admission is free.

5. Can’t wait for the weekend? Then check out the Joplin Parks and Recreation Department’s annual old-fashioned hayride, a free event taking place at 7 p.m. Friday in McClelland Park. S’mores kits will be handed out on a first-come, first-served basis, and the Salvation Army will provide hot cocoa. “The Haunted Mansion” will be shown on a giant inflatable screen.

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