May Day 2011 Scheduled for May 1

Posted April 22nd, 2011 at 4:50 pm.

Photo of maypole dancers seen from above
One day a year, Bryn Mawrters are urged to cease working hard and begin hardly working: at the College’s annual May Day celebration students eschew books and papers, even in the face of approaching finals week, to frolic on the grass. For several years, Bryn Mawr’s May Day celebration has been held on the Sunday following the last day of classes. This year, that falls on the traditional date of May Day: May 1.

Most 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/i.

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 wryly feminist response know as the 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 and ye Points of Etiquette perform in front of Pembroke Arch RS=TGH.
9:15 a.m. Senior march to ye Senior Steps to watch the parade
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 Dances 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. RS=TGH
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. Traditional King Arthur play in ye Taft Garden. RS
noon-1 p.m. Tall Painting on ye Erdman Greene with the Art Club and Nimbus
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
noon-3 p.m. Henna Tattoos, Airbrush Tattoos, Face Painting, Personacards, and Create a Kite in front of ye Canaday Library. RS=Lusty Cup
noon-3 p.m. Mega Bouncy Dome and Velcro Bungee Race on ye Merion and Denbigh Green
noon-5 p.m. Hot Wings, Spring Rolls, Cotton Candy, and Snow Cones available in ye Campus Center
noon-5 p.m. T-shirt sales in front of ye Campus Center. RS=Campus Center Foyer
12:30 p.m. Greek play in ye Sunken Garden RS= Dorothy Vernon Room
12:30 p.m. African Dance Session on ye Taylor Drive.
1 p.m. Hula Dancing on ye Thomas Greene. RS=Pembroke Dance Studio
1 p.m. Rugby Sing-Along on ye Denbigh Greene. RS=Denbigh Living Room
1 p.m. French Class Performance in ye Taft Garden RS=Campus Center
1:30 p.m Salsa Dancing with Bryn Mawr/Haverford Salsa in ye Campus Center
2 p.m. Belly dancing on ye Denbigh Green. RS=Pembroke Dance Studio
1:30 p.m. Ye Old Robin Hood Play at ye Taft Garden. RS=DVR
1:30 p.m. Folk Sing in ye Rock Arch RS= Denbigh Dance
2-5 p.m. Concert on ye Merion Greene. RS=Goodhart Theater
2 p.m. Lighted Fools Performance on ye Carpenter Roof. RS=Quita Woodward Room
2:30 p.m. Gymnastics Performance by the Gym Owls in ye Campus Center.
2:30 p.m. St. George and the Dragon Play at ye Sunken Garden. RS=Gateway Conference Room
2:30 p.m. Yalah! Belly Dancing on ye Pembroke East Greene. RS=Pembroke Dance Studio
3 p.m. Flute Choir performs in ye Campus Center Mezzanine.
4:30 p.m. Performance by the Shakespeare Performance Troupe in ye Taft Garden. RS=DVR
4:30-7 p.m. May Day dinner on ye Erdman Greene.
5 p.m. Fashion Show of Bryn Mawr Through the Ages on ye Erdman Greene with Hepburn’s Closet. RS =TGH
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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