This year, two events united for one, big celebration for the Carthage community.
Arvest Bank and The Alliance of Southwest Missouri teamed up again this year to bring Children’s Day and Festival of Friends together on Saturday, Sept. 22 in Central Park.
“The original events are very similar and the goal is the same – to provide free, educational, fun for families to enjoy together while learning about the culture and traditions of our friends and neighbors,” said Marlissa Diggs, drug free communities coordinator for the Alliance.
Children’s Day or Dia del Nino is celebrated throughout Mexico and in many parts of the world to encourage and promote friendship and understanding among children and to initiate action to further benefit and promote the welfare of children. Festival of Friends featured games, pinatas, entertainment, artifacts and cultural heritage booths that represented the various countries.
The YMCA's youth group, Teen Scene, and the teens with Carthage In Action (CIA) sponsored by the Alliance, volunteered their time to make the event a bright one. CIA learned how to make various balloon shapes just for this event – and their skills were warmly welcomed. Teen Scene helped distribute prizes, and spent time the community kids.
The Carthage Fire Department provided a truck for the families to view and explore. Deb Haynes with the Carthage Public Library offered a table for the local youth to learn about the Day of the Dead by coloring masks. There was music, sidewalk chalk and smiles on many youngsters' faces.