May Day

maytophatOne of my all time favorite things about this city is the May Day parade and festival at Powderhorn park. Even though the weather is usually cold, gusty, rainy and generally nasty, Minneapolitans give the final word to the date on the calendar and turn out in droves to frolic on the newly greened hills of the park. The Heart of the Beast puppet theater shows up with their giant freaky puppets and all the fringey, unwashed, dreadlocked, young, old, and in-betweens don their most sparkly, tattered, peculiar get-ups and come out to mill around, eat fair food, and watch the epic Tree of Life Ceremony from a riotous patchwork of quilts thrown up on the hills. It’s like a big roving carnival, with jugglers, stilt walkers, plumed ladies, fire breathers and musicians. As drumbeats, clapping and yelling grow in intensity, the Sun Flotilla gets paddled across the pond until it reaches the shore to wake the Tree of Life. It’s awesome. It’s colorful, pagean, freaky, and optimistic. It’s an excuse to collect in one spot with people from all walks of life. It’s a celebration. It’s a collective sigh of relief. It’s SPRING!


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