‘Leaves of Change’ parade theme
Following the golden anniversary of anything is difficult.
This year’s 51st annual Maple Leaf Festival will be trying to attract visitors a year after the golden year. One of its largest events is the annual parade, which will be starting a new 50 years of festivals with its theme “Leaves of Change.”
It will begin at 11 a.m. Saturday and it is projected to last slightly longer than one hour. One reason for its length is the number of politicians, which should come as no surprise with the November election looming.
“It should be a good year,” said Sheri Caldwell, MLF parade organizer. “We have lots of entries this year. We have lots of politicians since it’s an election year. We’re looking forward to another great year.”
The parade will once again feature local law enforcement, fire departments and area high school and middle school bands. The two grand marshals and MLF scholarship winners will be riding in the parade. Read more about the grand marshals on and the scholarship winners elsewhere on the Web site.
Caldwell is projecting about 12 to 15 bands will be marching in the annual parade. Of course there will be numerous floats playing along with the theme.
Another mainstay is the parade route. It’s now in its third year after the Downtown Streetscape Project forced the MLF committee to change the route. It will still begin at the corner of Third and High streets and head west down High Street. The parade will turn right or north on Sixth Street, where the MLF banner hangs above the street. It will end at the corner of Sixth and Chapel streets.
Despite differing opinions on the route, Caldwell says it’s worked well for a few reasons.
“It’s worked out very well for parking, traffic and the downtown booths,” Caldwell said. “We’ve been very happy with it.”
Finding a place to park and view the parade can be difficult as 11 a.m. approaches Saturday. MLF committee members advise arriving in Baldwin City plenty early to find a place to watch the annual parade.