Mendon's May Day one of the most
historic town celebrations
November 19, 2008 | MENDON -- The first Saturday of
every May holds a special meaning to those who are familiar
with the city of Mendon. Dancing, music, food, and other
festivities combine to create one of the oldest celebrations
in the country: May Day.
Children dressed in bright, springtime colors dance
around a maypole as family and friends look on. Musical
numbers are performed, and games are provided for the
younger children. Earlier that day, the May Queen is
crowned and her court is chosen. The night before, a
feast is held in honor of the new May Queen, and a dance,
open to all. Before the May Queen is crowned, the mayor
gives a small speech, and community members have the
opportunity to express what it means to them to be a
resident of Mendon.
"The whole thing has a small town feel to it," said
Councilman Phil Coulter, who oversees the budget for
the event. "I have a lot of pride in it. It's very important
to the community."
Coulter said he felt the celebration last year, which
was the 146th, was a big hit because of good weather
and organization. The year before that, poor weather
forced much of the festivities indoors.
"I think the weather is a pivotal thing," he said.
Katie Childs, last year's May Day chair, said she
had the children perform special numbers at the evening
dance, some of which included songs from the musical
The dance, typically open to those ages 14 and older,
was opened to all last year, as long as the children
"There was some concern about behavior, but I wasn't
aware of anything major that occurred because of the
age alteration," Childs said. "I was thrilled to see
little kids dancing with older brothers and sisters--it
felt like a community event!"
The dance was held in the LDS stake center and its
dress code was also altered a bit, so that it wasn't
as strict as previous years.
"As usual, I'm sure a few feathers were ruffled over
altering the venue," said Childs. "Anytime you alter
tradition, you'll hear about it--but I'd do it again
if it were up to me."