You can watch the parade in full here with our hosts and friends from Living Well, Shelby Neely and Gary Bandy. 

CARTHAGE, Mo. — Since it began in 1966 the Carthage Maple Leaf Festival has been canceled two times. Once for weather and then in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year was worth the wait said many. 

“The weather is fantastic!” parade watcher Mandy told us. “It’s almost hot!” 

There was a little change that the parade didn’t circle the square this year but the route was still packed with folks lining the route. 

Earlier in the week Carthage Chamber of Commerce Neely Garvin Myers estimated the crowds could be up to 100,000. 

And rightly so. All roads leading into Carthage the hour before the parade were at a crawl. And cell phone signals were nearly non-existent during the daytime in town.   

“I can’t get a signal,” parade goer Kelly told us when she was trying to post a picture to her social media. “I give up.” 

Even our Joplin News First uploaded video didn’t appear until hours later. 

Our longtime friend John Hacker followed the Maple Leaf Parade Float Judges and shares the winners and images with us! Thanks John!  “Congratulations to the winners of the Maple Leaf Float competition for 2021. SMB won the Sweepstakes award. Butterball won the Artistic Achievement award. M&M Wrecker won the Community Image award for adults. The 4H won the Community Image award for youth. The Barber Lounge won the Special Recognition Award. All Seasons Signs won the Chamber’s Choice Award.”

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