Grand May Day Scheduled for May 4, 2014

Posted April 29th, 2014 at 3:46 pm.


Students are facing down the last week of Spring semester classes and finals loom, but Mawrters will first seize a cherished opportunity for frolicking and celebration time at this year’s Grand May Day on Sunday, May 4.

As a Grand May Day, which occurs only once every four years, the celebration will include special attractions that will be revealed, along with the day’s theme, just before the event.

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 the liberation of women from patriarchy through the symbolic releasing of thousands of flower petals into the air.

Many of the day’s events, including Maypole dancing, hoop race, concerts, plays and colorful Renaissance pageantry, are free and open to the public.

The schedule of the day’s activities, excerpted from the traditional May Day program (the abbreviation “RS” stands for “rain site”), is below. See the College’s online calendar for updates.

May Day highlights include:

9 a.m. Ye Morris Dancers, 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 Queen, Traditions Mistresses, Song Mistresses, Worthies, and May Pole Dances RS=TGH

9:45 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

10:15 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.-1:30 p.m. A picnic lunch is served on ye Erdman Greene.

11:30 a.m. Scottish Country Dancing on ye Merion Greene. RS=Goodhart Music Room

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

For a complete listing of the afternoon’s activities and rain site locations, visit the Campus Calendar.

Filed under: Events,Students Tags: , by Alyssa Banotai

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