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Tents go up for Marian Days as site is prepped for festival

Cleaning and improvements underway

Marian Days Early Prep

CARTHAGE, Mo - Marian Days is a religious reunion at the Vietnamese seminary in Carthage that draws 50 to 100 thousand people. The four-day event officially begins August 1st.  But preparation at the site is well underway.

Crews were pushing up poles and tying down ropes to secure them Wednesday at the Congregation of Mother Co-Redemptrix in Carthage. Up to two hundred tents are going up on the grounds where the Marian Days festival  will begin in two weeks.  Tents where thousands of cots will be placed for pilgrims to camp. Fr. John Paul Tran explained, “All the hotels 4 or 5 cities around here are all booked.”

It’s a reunion and religious event  for the Vietnamese who fled their war torn country decades ago. Fr. Tran said the celebration is rooted, “In thanksgiving  for bringing them to a freedom place.”

New sidewalks are  going in so that priests can more easily deliver communion at masses attended in previous years by up to 100 thousand faithful.  That's also why there’s a jumbo-tron so those who can’t sit close can watch.  And now something new. Fr. John Paul said, “This year, I plan  to have an FM channel so anywhere  they sit they can turn  the FM channel  and they can hear the conferences.”

Crews are replacing  bricks with stamped concrete around  statues. One of many repairs happening  because of donations from the pilgrims themselves. Fr. John Paul said, “Every year, they donate money, and we use that money  to make this place a better place to come every year.”

Police already  put up fencing and will close down surrounding streets July 27th as campers arrive early. Many come by bus so pedestrian safety is important. 
The chief says it’s a time for list checking.“Did we order enough  golf carts?  Did we?  Scheduling is a huge nightmare cause again, it starts small ramps up and goes down,” said Chief Greg Dagnan.  
To cover the city and the grounds takes the regular Carthage police force and hiring . Up to 40 officers from other agencies 
Dagnan explained, “The city pays for part of  it.  So the fathers reimburse us for 75 percent of our expenses for security for the event.’ 

While the chief worries about safety, others worry about  beautifying  the place that will soon be home to a celebration of faith, food, family  and culture.

The Marian Days festival runs from August first through the fourth on the campus of the Congregation of Mother Co-Redemptrix. Fr. John Paul said they will also be selling copies of a documentary produced about the festival by Ozark Public Television at this year’s event. 

 

 

 

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