An event the size of Carthage's annual Maple Leaf Festival requires lots of planning and advance work.

An event the size of Carthage's annual Maple Leaf Festival requires lots of planning and advance work.
That's why the 2018 Maple Leaf Committee's first planning meeting was held on Thursday, Feb. 1, eight months in advance of the event which starts in October.
For those who will ask many times this year, the Maple Leaf Parade is Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. The parade is always the third Saturday in October.
The committee's first meeting, which included about a dozen people, included reports on how events went in 2017 and some brainstorming for events in 2018.
Some interesting highlights:
• Jennifer Sager, organizer of the band competition, reported that the first year in the new stadium was generally a success.
Participants understood when the event had to be shortened, eliminating the finals competition, because of approaching severe weather.
All the bands got the chance to perform once and Organizers had to turn away bands because they didn't have time to fit more than 22 bands into the event's timetable.
One possible challenge next year will be bus parking in light of the construction that will likely reduce access to the old Carthage Middle School property.
• Larry Cleary, organizer of the Maple Leaf Car Show, said his group was discussing expanding their swap meet and opening the tables on Friday.
Cleary said the event, which is held on the grounds of the Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer, across Fairview Avenue from the Carthage Nazarene Church, is packed and is accepting all the vehicles it has room to handle.
One committee member asked whether classic cars that park in Central Park during the tractor show should be directed to the Maple Leaf Car Show.
Cleary said they really didn't have room for more cars at the Car Show. The committee decided to discuss this issue further in later meetings.
• The committee also discussed a possible new event that might be held in conjunction with the Maple Leaf Dog Show in Central Park on Sunday, Oct. 14.
Committee members floated the idea of a Chicken Pageant, similar to an event held at Diamond's Gem City Days the past few years.
Sharon Rogers spoke about the event. She said people dress some chickens in costumes, others groom and shine their chickens' plumage to perfection.
The pageant was held for the fourth year in a row at Diamond in September 2017. The proceeds from the event benefit Moving Mountains Inc., a Diamond group that collects coats, hats and gloves and puts together a snack pack program for children in the Diamond area.
Discussion at the meeting centered around holding a Maple Leaf version of the chicken pageant before or after the Maple Leaf Dog Show, adding to the big animal-centered event held in Central Park.
No decision was made about whether to have a chicken festival at this meeting, but organizers plan to continue meeting to consider it.
In other Maple Leaf-related news, the Carthage Chamber of Commerce has sent out calls for ideas regarding the theme for the 2018 event, submissions for the Maple Leaf Artwork and calls for sponsors for the event. Applications for events to be included in the Maple Leaf Brochure are also out this month.
Deadline for theme submissions is Feb. 28. Deadline for application to be in the brochure is March 30.
The next meeting is slated for 4 p.m., Thursday, March 1, at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce.
Anyone interested in volunteering to help with Maple Leaf can contact Mary Jo Little at the Chamber at 358-2373. Volunteers must sign a volunteer commitment sheet which lays out the expectations for volunteers and for leadership and Maple Leaf Staff.