September 7th, 2018

2018 Maple Leaf Grand Marshal is…

The Maple Leaf committee has selected Sandy Higgins as the 2018 Maple Leaf Grand Marshal. On being advised of her selection, Sandy said “I just can’t believe this!  There are so many more deserving people that I never expected this. I love Carthage, and I love my corner. This is my town.”

Nominations read in part “Sandy Higgins is known in the community for her generosity and kindness. She's a lifelong proponent of Carthage, its people, and our Art community. I can't imagine a candidate more qualified.” “Sandy has been a friend to Carthage for many years. She has been a driving force behind our arts community. She is generous with her time, energy, and resources. She would be a fitting addition to the list of past Grand Marshals.” “Sandy has always been a supporter of the Maple Leaf Festival, Art Central, and the Carthage Art community. Always has her yard decorated for Maple Leaf and supports many other worthwhile Carthage events and programs. I believe she would be a very deserving Grand Marshal.” “Sandy is a treasure to the Carthage Community! She's spent many years developing, organizing, and showcasing the arts in our community. Her contributions guided the success of Art Central and Midwest Gathering of the Artists. She is a lovely inspiration to us all!” “This talented, dedicated and inspirational woman is truly Carthage's angel. Sandy has served the Carthage community for decades. Whether it be establishing and guiding Art Central, helping to create MidWest Gathering of the Artist (and organizing and guiding the Gathering into its 3rd decade), raising funds for a handicap van for a teen, or financially sponsoring children's art classes, Sandy has given to our community with grace, dedication and a heart filled with love. Named Carthage's Chamber of Commerce Artist of the Year for 2007 and a recipient of Carthage's Athena award, Sandy is simply about "all things Carthage".”

Maple Leaf Co-Chair Alice Chorum said “As we do every year, we received so many nominations of such deserving, beloved, and respected community members who have made significant contributions to Carthage. It’s always a difficult choice but for all the reasons listed in the nominations above, Sandy is the perfect choice this year. We are proud to celebrate and honor her with the title of Grand Marshal!” Maple Leaf Co-Chair Jeanine Poe added “Being the Maple Leaf Grand Marshal is a tremendous honor. Each year the Grand Marshal leads the Maple Leaf Parade and participates in many other Maple Leaf events. After the festival, Sandy’s name, along with all of the other past and future Grand Marshals, will live on the list of recipients forever. Carthage will forever be better for their contributions.”

The 52nd Annual Maple Leaf Festival has events running the entire month of October including a 5K run, pageants, a dog show, art and music events, car and tractor shows, and tons more. The Maple Leaf Parade will be Saturday, October 20th beginning its route on the historic downtown Square. Food, art/craft booths and live entertainment on the Square and the annual Marching Band Festival will provide a variety of activity for this year’s attendees. For a full schedule, Maple Leaf Festival brochures are available at the Chamber, 402 S Garrison and locations throughout the area.  Details are also available on the festival website

For more information, contact Mary Jo at the Carthage Chamber of Commerce, 417-358-2373 or

View Press Release (PDF)

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