Parade Route Details
Parade route (lined in red) begins on the west side of the Square (in yellow), south down Grant/Grand Avenue, east on Centennial and ends at the Carthage Middle School (River & Centennial). Total length is just under 2 miles. Portable toilets and reserved seating for handicapped individuals located at 6th & Grant (in purple). Carthage R-9 Auditorium J is located north of Chestnut & Main Streets.
Please download the Maple Leaf Festival Parade Application packet to apply to participate in the Maple Leaf Festival Parade. You must also agree to the Maple Leaf Parade Regulations and sign the Maple Leaf Accident Waiver and Release of Liability Form.
Beginning in the late 1960's as a marching band competition, the annual Maple Leaf Festival took its name from Mother Nature. Every year, surrounded by an array of glorious fall colors, the city of Carthage proudly welcomes 80,000+ visitors to this wonderful fall celebration.
Every year, on the third Saturday of October, the biggest day of the festival begins with the largest parade in Southwest Missouri. This keystone event begins at 9 a.m. and ends around noon. The parade route begins on the Carthage Historic Square and ends at the Carthage Middle School.
Numerous events are scheduled throughout the day to entertain young and young at heart including Willie Arthur Smith's Marching Cobras, an art & crafts festival, car show, quilt show, food vendors and live entertainment.
The rest of the festival is filled with a variety of activities including a 5K/10K, beauty pageants, baby and toddler contests, dog show and dog skill competition, gospel sing, and a lip-syncing competition. Celebrating its 50th year in 2016, the Maple Leaf Festival offers family style fun in a home town atmosphere.