Maple Leaf Festival When: October 8–16, Carthage. Visit carthagechamber.com for a full schedule of events. Information: This eight-day festival includes a high heel race, wine-tasting, a lip-sync competition, the Kelly Miller Circus and lots of food. The festival is free, but tickets for the circus are sold at the door. Look for: The Maple Leaf Festival started 45 years ago as a marching band contest. Now, the longest parade in Southwest Missouri is taking place during the festival.