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May Day events set

By Staff | May 1, 2009

In a celebration that goes back hundreds of years, local residents will gather to parade and dance a May Pole ceremony on Saturday, May 2, in the heart of downtown Shepherdstown.

At 10 a.m., Morris Dancers start warming up on King Street, and storytelling and wand-crafting for young children begins at Four Seasons Books.

The Search for the Golden Arrow, which symbolizes the first ray of sunshine, commences at 11a.m. at Lost Dog Coffee. There, children will find their first clue. Gather clues, solve the riddles and a golden arrow will be yours!

At the same time, live music starts on the porch of Shepherd University’s McMurran Hall at the corner of King and German streets with musicians Don Oehser, Arnold Smith, Todd Coyle, The Corsettes, Mike Wisniewski and Lisa Lafferty performing.

At 11:30 a.m., parade participants gather along Church Street near the Episcopal Church to line up. All wanting to celebrate the coming of spring are welcome to participate. Newcomers may talk with May Day organizers at the rise of the hill to be included in the lineup.

At noon, the parade will commence and make its way down German Street to the lawn at McMurran Hall. Skateboarders lead the way, followed by cake maidens, the Green Man, Morris teams from all around the east coast region, the Traveling Wheelbarrows and wheelbarrow babies, musicians, dogs on leashes festooned with flowers, bike riders, flower bedecked maidens wearing white or the colors of spring, men shouldering a huge maypole, wee ones wearing wings, mothers and daughters carrying garlands of flowers, fathers and sons and more.

Unicyclists, stilt walkers, jesters, bubble blowers, jugglers, drummers, puppets and painted faces are welcome! Bounce a big ball, put on a homemade costume, don a cape or wear a mask. Carry greenery or a small maypole, or push a painted wheelbarrow full of flowers and vegetables. Got a hula hoop? Bring it! Come one, come all and welcome the spring!

At 12:30 p.m. the ceremony will begin beneath the May Pole with dancer Kitty Clark, the Green Man and the wrapping of West Virginia’s largest May Pole. Fiddlers and pipers and dancers young and old will bring in the spring.

Live music continues on the porch at McMurran until 3 p.m., so bring a picnic and join in the delight. Then from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m., Morris teams perform at the Bavarian Inn and return again to the heart of town from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. to dance in the May.

– For more information, contact Laura First at Laura9first@yahoo.com or (301) 676-0195, or Cheryl Mansley at riverhousemusic@frontiernet.net or (304) 702-0554. For information on the search for the Golden Arrow, contact Barbara Hartman at bheart@frontiernet.net.