Maple Leaf sees increased attendance

Thousands of people gathered in Baldwin City last weekend to enjoy the atmosphere of autumn and many attractions offered by the 50th annual Maple Leaf Festival.

The festival saw an increase in attendance for its 50th anniversary. Donna Curran, chair of the Maple Leaf Festival committee, said an estimated 30,000 people attended to enjoy the festival’s booths, parade, carnival, crafts and food.

“Everyone I talked to said it was so many more people, especially from last year,” Curran said. “It was great it was so many people.”

Senior Rachelle Baalmann said her favorite part of the festival was watching the parade.

“I got up really early in the morning and went to work at the Delta Delta Delta sorority tent where I spent most of the morning painting faces, then at 11 a.m. I went straight to the parade,” she said. “I really liked watching the Baker cheerleaders doing stunts and seeing all the different marching bands perform. The turnout for the parade was really good, and the weather was just great.”

Senior Ashley Pike said she has attended the festival every year she has been at Baker and enjoys the booths the most.

“This is my fourth year here and I love to walk around to all the booths and do some shopping,” she said.

The long awaited announcements of the winners of the Wildcats on the Prowl contest were revealed during the parade as well. The best of show winners were “The Office Catalog Cat” by the Baker University Registrar’s Office in first place, “The Baker” by Baker University School of Professional and Graduate Studies in second place and “Purrfectly Maple” by one of the visual language classes in third place.