Started in the late 1960′s as a marching band competition, the annual Maple Leaf Festival received its name thanks to Mother Nature. Surrounded by an array of glorious fall colors, the city of Carthage proudly welcomes the 80,000+ visitors to this wonderful fall celebration.
On the third Saturday of October, the grand finale day of the 8-day festival begins with the largest parade in Southwest Missouri. The parade is the festival’s key event and starts promptly at 9 a.m. on the Carthage Historic Square and ends at approximately noon at the Carthage Junior High School. Numerous activities are scheduled throughout the day to entertain both the young and the young at heart. These events include an arts & crafts festival, petting zoo, auto show, dog show, food vendors, and live entertainment.
The week preceding the one-day finale is filled with a variety of activities including a family fun walk, beauty pageants, baby contest, and lip-sync competition.