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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Monument prepping for 70th event

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  • DIAMOND — Organizers are ready for the 70th annual Carver Day event, which will be held from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the George Washington Carver National Monument.
    "Carver Day celebrates the establishment of the park in 1943, and the many accomplishments of George Washington Carver," said Curtis Gregory, park ranger at the monument. "Carver Day is our oldest running special event."
    The daylong event is free of charge and includes music, various activities, exhibitors, guided tours, activities for children and special guests.
    "Junior Ranger (activities are) set up around on the grounds, where the kids will earn a special Carver Day Junior Ranger badge," Gregory said.
    Special speakers this year include Dr. Linda Edwards, Carver scholar, historian, and author of "George Washington Carver, Scientist & Symbol." Her book is a major work on Carver scholarship. Architectural historian Debbie Sheals and Architect Angie Gaebler are also slated to speak.
    "They (Sheals and Gaebler) did a study on the 1872 Neosho Colored School and that was the first school that Carver went to," Gregory said. "The study is on the piece of property that is there now and the historic structure's report. So, they are going to be sharing the findings of that report in a presentation."
    There will also be a storyteller, named Loretta Washington.
    Washington will entertain visitors with African-Americans folktales. She will also conduct two mini spinning top workshops for children. Musical performers include Lem Sheppard, blues, jazz, and folk guitarist and musician; Sensational Wonders, gospel singing group; Kansas East State Sunshine Band, a children's choir; InCourage; and area church choirs.
    Gregory said this event is worthwhile to everyone.
    "We think that it is important that visitors attend and it is important to us," he said. "It really highlights the significance of this park, which is to memorialize George Washington Carver's life and accomplishments, as well as this is the first park in a National Park Service system dedicated to an African American."

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