Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Celebration
After the parade, music and dance were the May Day attractions on the lawn of McMurren Hall on German Street. We even had May Day poems read by a local poet.

The virgins were doing their special dance to celebrate this day of fecundity.

The Morris Dancers were actively demonstrating their craft. I love the bright beard. How fun!

What a joyful sight to see the children dancing around the May Pole! As with any on-going event, it is the children that will keep the Shepherdstown May Day Festival alive and well.

Father Earth welcomes all folks to the celebration.

This beautiful lass is serving cake to the crowd. Flora is in the background on your left. She is taking in all of this food distribution.

During part of the ceremony, the Padstow horse chases the kids. A few kids were scared, but eventually the tables were turned and the children chased the horse from the grounds. See the dance at

The most famous traditional British hobby horses are probably those of the May Day 'Obby 'Oss festival in Padstow, Cornwall. They are made from a circular framework, tightly covered with shiny black material, carried on the shoulders of a dancer whose face is hidden by a grotesque mask attached to a tall, pointed hat. A skirt (made from the same material) hangs down from the edge of the frame to around knee-height. There is a small, wooden, horse's head with snapping jaws, attached to a long, straight neck, with a long mane, which sticks out from the front of the frame. On the opposite side there is a small tail of horsehair.

It is time to officially wrap the May Pole! See the actual wrapping at

As the wrapping on the pole continued, most folks joined in the spiral dance around the pole. Grandma Meads joined in for the dance celebration. Grandpa (moi!) could not since he had the responsibility of documenting this event for the blog!

The wrapping of the May Pole concluded the official May Day celebration. A reporter from a local newspaper interviewed me, The comment that kept traveling through my cerebellum was "Only In Shepherdstown".

What a fun time!


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