Grand May Day Scheduled for May 2

Posted April 23rd, 2010 at 5:47 pm.

One Sunday a year, Bryn Mawr students are enjoined to shrug off their studies and frolic in the grass, even as finals week approaches, in celebration of May Day. This year’s celebration will occur on Sunday, May 2. As a Grand May Day, which occurs only once every four years, it will include special attractions that will be revealed, along with the day’s theme, just a few days before the event.

All of the day’s events—which include numerous performances as well as singalongs and other participatory activities—are free, and most are open to the general public. The festivities usually draw a substantial crowd from the surrounding community, as well as friends and family of Bryn Mawr students, faculty, staff and alumnae.

The celebration begins at 5:45 a.m., when sophomores awaken seniors with flower baskets and song. A mix of old and new traditions, the day includes a Hoop Race that predicts who will be the first to earn her doctorate. In addition to the traditional Maypole event, students in the mid-1980s added a distinctly feminist May Hole Dance, celebrating women’s liberation through the symbolic releasing of thousands of flower petals into the air.

This daylong re-enactment of the Elizabethan rite of spring ends with the screening of The Philadelphia Story, starring Bryn Mawr’s most famous graduate, Katharine Hepburn ’28. The next morning, final exams begin.

The schedule of the day’s public activities, excerpted from the traditional May Day program (the abbreviation “RS” stands for “rain site”):

9 a.m. Ye Morris Dancers perform in front of Pembroke Arch. RS=TGH
9:30 a.m. Ye Grande Processional with the President of the College, the May Queens, Traditions Mistresses, Song Mistresses, Worthies and Princes and Princesses of the Court, and May Pole Dancers. RS=TGH
10 a.m. May Pole Dancing on ye Merion Greene by the four classes, McBride Schollers and Graduate Students. Ye President and ye May Queens deliver humorous speeches.
10:30 a.m. Senior May Roll Hoop Race down ye Senior Row.
11 a.m. May Hole Dancing on ye Denbigh Greene.
11:15 a.m.-1:15 p.m. A picnic lunch is served on ye Erdman Greene. RS=Erdman Lobby, Living and Dining Rooms
11:30 a.m. Scottish Country Dancing on ye Merion Greene. RS=Goodhart Music Room
11:30 a.m. Student Artists’ Perfomance: Nikki Lopez and Allegra Fletcher on ye Carpenter Roof. RS=TGH
noon-5 p.m. Snack foods available in ye Campus Center. T-shirt sales in front of ye Campus Center RS=Campus Center Foyer
noon-3 p.m. Henna Tattoos, Personacards, Photos, Sand Art, and Special Grand May Day Attraction in front of ye Canaday Library. RS=Lusty Cup
noon A Capella concert on ye Carpenter Roof featuring Acabellas, Chaverim, Counterpoint, Extreme Keys, Humtones, Lavender’s Blue, Looney Tunes, Night Owls, and S-Chords. RS= TGH
12:30 p.m. Greek Play in ye Sunken Garden. RS= TH 110
12:30 p.m. African Dance Session on ye Taylor Drive.
1 p.m. Rugby Sing-Along on ye Denbigh Greene. RS=Denbigh Living Room
1 p.m. Hula Dancing on ye Taylor Drive. RS= Pembroke Dance Studio
1:30 p.m. Robin Hood Play at ye Taft Garden. RS=DVR
1:30 p.m Folk Sing on ye Thomas Green. RS=Denbigh Dance Studio
2 p.m. Belly dancing on ye Denbigh Green. RS=Pembroke Dance Studio
2 p.m. Flute Choir performs in ye Campus Center Mezzanine.
2:30 p.m. St. George and the Dragon Play at ye Sunken Garden. RS = Gateway Conference Room
2-5 p.m. Concert on ye Merion Greene. RS=Goodhart Theater
3 p.m. Post-Post Concert on ye Carpenter Roof. RS=TGH
4:30 p.m. Performance by the Shakespeare Performance Troupe at ye Taft Garden. RS= DVR
7 p.m. Ye Bryn Mawr Renaissance Choir Concert in Thomas Great Hall.
8 p.m. The last Step Sing of the year on ye Senior Steps. RS= TGH
10:45 p.m. Traditional showing of “The Philadelphia Story” starring Katharine Hepburn ’28 in Thomas 110.

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