It is finally starting to feel like fall here, and fall is a time for festivals, family fun and football — all events that draw our communities together.
Joplin came out in force for an event that combined those elements Wednesday with the first Joplin High School homecoming parade in decades.
The event was brief, a five-block march down Main Street that lasted about 15 minutes, and an unmitigated success. Turnout was impressive, with crowds lining both sides of the street to see the football team and other JHS athletic teams, the Eagle Pride marching band, JROTC, choir and theater departments, and various clubs from the school showing off their pride in their school.
Students launched the drive to bring this parade back, and our community turned out to celebrate the football team — which is doing well this season — and to honor the school and students. Bravo.
A testament to the power of passionate patrons who can make a difference for a school district is the newly opened Tiger Activity Center on the Carthage High School campus.
The $2.2 million center was initiated when patrons approached the district about building an archery practice space off the high school campus and donating it to the district.
That idea was expanded on, and donations made the building possible, including funds from the Kent D. and Mary L. Steadley Memorial Trust, the McCune-Brooks Regional Hospital Trust and gifts from other local supporters.
The power of passionate patrons with a purpose is prodigious.
Influencing communities for change is something area teens are good at. Teens helped to bring about the JHS homecoming parade; a Carthage teen has added a feature to his community’s signature event, the Maple Leaf Festival.
Spencer Lines, 16, of Carthage, has planned “Music Under the Maples” that will bring an area band, the Mason Dixon Band, and a variety of food trucks to Carthage’s Central Park from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12.
Lines said he wanted to give families a chance to get out together under the autumn leaves and have fun on the first main weekend of the 54-year-old festival.
We applaud Lines’ commitment and drive and hope the event is a great success.