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Marian Days event in Carthage shows impressive turnout - KOAM TV 7

Marian Days event in Carthage shows impressive turnout

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Thousands gather for the annual Marian Days event in Carthage.

Around 60,000 Vietnamese Roman Catholics travel to the campus of the Congregation of Mother Co-Redemptrix at this time of year.

For many of the people we talked to, this is their first year attending.

However, some have made the pilgrimage for years.

Quin Vu prepares food to sell at the Carthage Marian Days.

Vu has made an annual trek from Texas to Carthage for the past 20 years.

His son says he's proud to join the family tradition.

"We continue to come back to cook and sell it to the people here and give the money back to the church," says Tuong Vu, Marian Days participant.

He says they raise thousands of dollars for the church each year.

Many make the pilgrimage to also pay their respects to the Virgin Mother.

"Mary is a very important figure in our life so to express our love for God we express our love for our lady--his mother. So that's a tradition for us Vietnamese Catholic," says Father John Tran, Marian Days organizer.

Tran says the Mother Mary, Lady of Peace statue symbolizes the safe travels of Vietnamese refugees.

The blue plaques also have meaning.

"We pray for them everyday--the members of our congregation--deceased and alive," says Tran.

Mass is held every day along with confession.

Participants travel from all across the country.

Organizers say the event gives Vietnamese Americans a strong sense of camaraderie.

"We don't get to see a lot of Vietnamese Catholics around, so it's nice to come here and be able to see all this--just be supportive," says Tee Nguyen, Marian Days participant.

The event attracts people of all ages.

"It's a good idea at least like young people they learn to love catholic and it get them closer to each other," says Lenny Nguyun, Marian Days participant.

"I just don't really go to churches and stuff and it's getting me there," says Kimmy Nguyun, Marian Days participant.

Many of the travelers will continue to camp out until the gathering ends this Sunday.

The congregation in Carthage is made up of around 120 members. Father Tran says it takes about 3 weeks to set up for Marian Days.

However, it's a community effort as many nearby homeowners invite travelers to camp on their properties.

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