CARTHAGE, Mo. — With tens of thousands expected to attend this weekend’s Marian Days festival in Carthage, Missouri, hotel rooms go fast.
The only alternative left is to camp out.
In fact, many of those who come from all over the country to attend Marian Days, prefer to camp.
Most Carthage residents who live near the “Congregation of the Mother of the Redeemer” allow those who make the pilgrimage to camp out on their property.
Those residents say they often see the same people return every year.
Carthage homeowner, Archie McDonald currently has several families camping out, not only in tents on his lawn, but also in his garage.
McDonald says he welcomes festival goers on his property, which is located next door to the Congregation.
“If they see something that needs to be addressed, like if there’s a light out or a garage door that needs to be fixed or a door knob that’s not tight, if they can they will say, ‘hey, if you have a tool, I will fix it for you,’ so they’ve been more than willing to step in and make sure that my property is functioning properly for them, so I’ve been more than open to get them here and get them back, just because they’ve been so good to me,” says Archie McDonald.
Due to a city ordinance, Carthage residents who allow campers on their property during Marian Days can not charge a fee of any kind.