“Keep your insides clean and drug free, but get your outsides dirty.”

“Keep your insides clean and drug free, but get your outsides dirty.”

That's the theme of Mudstock, the annual Carthage mud festival scheduled for noon-3 p.m. Saturday, June 30 at on the grounds behind the Lowe's Home Improvement Store at the corner of George E. Phelps Boulevard and Annie Baxter Avenue in the south part of town.

“As the name implies, Mudstock is a mud-filled event featuring mud pit, and multiple water features, all designed by the Carthage Fire Department, Carthage Police Department, and the Carthage Caring Communities Coalition,” The Alliance said on its website, www.theallianceofSWMO.org. “Mudstock is a fun, interactive alternative to drugs and alcohol that promotes getting muddy on the outside while staying clean on the inside.”

 Drug prevention

The location is still relatively new. For more than 15 years, Mudstock was held at the same place close to the small roundabout in the Myers Park Retail Development, but that land was sold three years ago and the event wasn't held for a year while organizers searched for a new location.

This is the second year in this location.

Organizers say parking will be on the roads around the event, although parts of George E. Phelps Boulevard east of Hazel Avenue will be closed for emergency vehicles and event organizers. Parking will be available in the Forest Park Church lot east of the Mudstock location.

Christine Boyd, director of communication for The Alliance, said kids will have the chance to win door prizes by going through a series of “learning stations,” dealing with drug prevention education prior to jumping in the mud.

“You're basic message constantly is stay away from drugs, how to say no to people when they offer drugs, how to talk to adults about drugs, different things like that,” Boyd said. “Anyway we can talk to kids about drugs, it's still in development right now, we've got different ideas because there are so many different educational ways we can get to them. We also have to remember we're in a very large and active event so we have to make it very simple where we know the message will stick with them when they leave.”

The rules

There are some basic rules to Mudstock:

• No sandals allowed. People interested in getting in the mud must be wearing socks and shoes.

“We'll tape their shoes and socks on them and so they need to wear socks and shoes so the tape doesn't touch their skin,” Boyd said. “We want to make sure they're in the proper gear to be able to play and not lose anything. Safety is a huge factor there too, we're digging in the mud and we can only see so much when we're digging. We pull out every possible thing, rocks and other things, we can find, but we don't want any cuts or anything like that from something we didn't see.”

• No pets are allowed.

• Children under 12 years old must have a parent on the grounds with them at all times.

• Pre-registration is encouraged but not required. People can pre-register at www.theallianceofSWMO.org.

“If they go there, they can click on the button to register right then and that will take you to an Event Bright site,” Boyd said. “The event is free, but it will generate a ticket where we can scan a bar code as soon as they come up or we can type in their name and they can walk right on through. They don't have to fill out any paperwork at the event. Last year we had a huge line and we're trying to reduce that and push the advanced registration.”