Come One, Come All!
It’s May Day morning -
Help us dance up the sun!


(the Morris community’s answer
to "dancing 'till dawn")

Morris Dancer
Original image likely by Roberta Wackett
reproduced courtesy of EFDSS

 
Morris dancers throughout North America and England will gather together with their sticks, ribbons, bells, hankies, and baldrics, for music and dance in our annual May Day celebrations (this year Friday, May 1st, 2020).  We dance to wake up the Sun and keep it coming back up for a whole year!  Besides being a great deal of fun, does this show dedication or what?!  You may have noticed that it works, too.

Be a part of it. Show up while it’s dark and watch the Sun make its grand entrance.  See the spectacle!  Watch the magic!  Cheer the dancers!   Join in the celebration!  Wonder why you’re up at this hour!  Wear whatever you want, but bring layers - it may be cold this early in the morning.


FIND A MAYDAY CELEBRATION NEAR YOU
Sunrise and event starting times can vary significantly depending on location or weather.
You may need to reach a specific team's contact (squire) directly to find out more about the local schedule.
Look for the symbol - it means the info is definitely current for this year.

Meanwhile, taste the imagery of
Rose Blakeley's Ceremony of May
(audio requires Flash plug-in)


PACIFIC TIME ZONE
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Vancouver with Vancouver Morris Men and Tiddley Cove Morris

 

  • 5:30 am Vancouver Morris Men and Tiddley Cove Morris dance up the dawn at Sparrow Fart in Trimble Park (West 8th Av & Trimble St) in West Point Grey
  • , Vancouver, BC V6R 4G9
  • 7:00 am - Off to breakfast and seasonal singing at a local restaurant.
  • For more information email or
: May Day 2016: To the Market - an original Tiddley Cove dance written by June Harman (Dance), Nini Ury (Music)
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Gabriola Island, BC with   
Drumbegger Border Morris will be dancing the May this year for 2nd time. Come out and support them! Be a part of history!
  • 5:30 am - meet in the parking lot of Drumbeg Provincial Park (south end of Gabriola Island), process to hill top, dance up the sun and sing in the May.
  • Afterwards Gorilla dance outs around the island.
  • For more information, check the team Facebook page, or email or call 250-247-7935

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Victoria with Hollytree Morris, Island Thyme Morris, and Quicksbottom Morris

           


                 Island Thyme Morris                                                      Quicksbottom Morris
 
  • Continuing their 20+-year tradition, the Victoria sides will gather around 5:30 am at Clover Point, located on the Victoria waterfront along Dallas Road just east of Beacon Hill Park.  See a variety of dance styles with Hollytree performing Cotswold, Island Thyme performing Northwest, and Quicksbottom performing Border.  The Maypole goes up around 5:30 am and dancing will begin soon after.  There's also community dancing (audience participation) and a Spiral Dance after sun-up.  Feel free to gather some of the May Pole garlands and take them home.  It's usually a windy affair, but on a clear morning, the view of the sun coming over Mount Baker is definitely worth it.
  • Afterwards, there's a potluck champagne breakfast for dancers and friends at someone's home.  Let us know you're coming and we'll invite you too!
  • For more information (including other possible events during the day) contact the teams
Island Thyme dancing Skirmishes and in Eynsham
Quicksbottom dancing Duntze Head or Drowsy Maggie
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Seattle, WA with North by North West Morris, Sound and Fury Morris, The Mossyback Morris Men, and Misty City Morris

  • Dancers will gather about 30 minutes before sunrise (5:52 am) at Gas Works park.
    • The entrance is located on the north side of lake Union, at 3300 Burke Ave N, Seattle WA.
    • Dancing will be on the southern most point of the park near the water.   Don't be surprised if there's singing of May songs as well.
    • Dancing continues until about 7:00 am.
  • For more information:
    • North by North West - email the or call Libby 206-323-7519 or Judy 206-634-2535, see their Facebook page
    • Sound and Fury Morris - contact us
    • MossyBack Morris - contact us
    • Misty City Morris - or call 425-865-9368
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Portland, OR with Bridgetown Morris Men, Renegade Rose Morris, Wild Rose Garland with special guests Raven's Magic

Bridgetown Morris Men performing Abbotts Bromley, White Ladies Aston or Bampton Side Step
Renegade Rose Morris dancing The Idiot or Weavers March
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Eugene, OR with Two Rivers Morris

  • 5:30 am - dancing at the "Sun" bike-trail mile marker in Alton Baker Park.
  • Afterwards, it's breakfast with the team at a to-be-determined location.  Then most of us wander off (but with purpose) to our day-jobs.
  • For more information, check the team Facebook page, or contact .

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Coos Bay, OR with Side of the Tide

 See the team dancing Ragged Crow
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Sebastopol, CA with Apple Tree Morris

  • 5:30 am - Come help Apple Tree Morris celebrate the beauty of Spring in Sonoma County as we dance up the sun on May Day in the parking lot behind the Sebastopol Community Center Youth Annex, 425 Morris Street, in Sebastopol.  The dancing goes through sunrise and a little bit more (around 6:20 am), and then you are welcome to join us for a potluck breakfast at 7:00 am at Wischemmann Hall (bring something to share).
    • There will be morris dancing to watch and country dances everyone can do, as well as wonderful music and singing. We'd love it if you'd join us for this celebration!  Dress warmly, since it tends to be chilly before dawn, and you may want a lawn chair or blanket to sit on.
    • Directions:
      • From Santa Rosa and points east: Get onto Highway 12 around Sebastopol.  Turn right/north at the light onto Morris Street, and park when the street turns left.
      • From Sebastopol: Get onto Highway 12 heading towards Santa Rosa, and at the first light outside of town (at the sign for The Barlow), turn left/north onto Morris Street and park when the street turns left.
  • Later that day....they usually tour local schools and parks.  Contact the team for details.
  • For more information, email , call 707-823-6925, or see their Facebook page.

    Apple Tree Morris dancing Old Peculiar in 2013 and Huntress in 2017
    2018 May Day flyer
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San Francisco, CA with

  • Meet at Christmas Tree Point on Twin Peaks Blvd around 5:45 am, in the parking lot overlooking downtown, the East Bay and (in theory) the rising sun.
  •  Dancing starts around 6:00 am.
  • There's likely more dancing during the day - details on their Facebook page.
  • For EXACT directions and more information, email or call Heather at (510) 653-7507
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Berkeley, CA with  

  • 5:00 am to 6:45 am - Gather at Inspiration Point, high up on Wildcat Canyon Road in Tilden Regional Park.  The Abbots's Bromley is expected to commence at 5:20 am or thereabouts., sunrise expected at 6:13 am.  Dress warmly!
  • 10:00 am-ish Solano Ave at Colusa (across the street from Peet's and iScream)
  • 11:00 am-ish UC Berkeley's North Gate (Hearst & Euclid)
  • 12:00 noon-ish Upper Sproul Plaza, Berkeley campus (a short walk from the previous stop)
  • For more information contact the
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Palo Alto, CA with Deer Creek Morris Men and Kitchen Sink Molly Deer Creek

  • 5:30 am to 7:00 am - Meet at the Palo Alto Baylands (take Embarcadero East from the US-101 to the end of the road, turn left, go past the airport, bear right, past the Duck Pond and the Ranger Station and park in the first lot on the left (before crossing the river).
    • Watch in entranced silence to the strains of the haunting Abbots Bromley Horn Dance
    • Join in as everyone learns English Country or Morris dances for all.  Yes!   We actually teach these!
  • Deer Creek may attend May Day at the Oakland Zoo.  Ask a team member for details.
  • For more information email the squire for

See video excerpts of May Day past, care of Maryam Webster
(disclaimer - some names of persons and dances in titles are inaccurate)
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Santa Cruz, CA with Seabright Morris and Sword and White Rats Morris
  • 6:00 am - Meet at the Lighthouse, 701 on West Cliff Drive (take Hwy 1, turn on Bay St. towards the ocean, go all the way to the end, then right onto West Cliff Drive - leave extra time to find parking.
  • 7:00 am - breakfast at the Zackary's Restaurant, 819 Pacific Ave
  • For more information check our website or contact squire
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Santa Barbara, CA with Pacific Sword Company as part of the May Day


  • 6:00 am  - pursuing our annual tradition of sleeping in.
  • 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm - Revels hosts its annual May Day celebration at Center Court of the Paseo Nuevo Shopping Center on State Street in downtown Santa Barbara.  There's lots of spectacle and audience participation:
    • Sing special Spring songs with Revels Songleader, Adam Phillips.
    • Learn seasonal dances.
    • Make flower garlads and nosegays.
    • Enjoy performance by the Revels Dancers.
    • Come join in the May Pole celebration and learn how to weave the ribbons 'round the pole.
  • For more information, email .
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Los Angeles, CA with Rising Phoenix Morris     

  • 5:45 am - Venice Pier: use the parking lot at the end of Washington Blvd (Ocean is the last main cross street) - in anticipation for the 6:00 am sunrise (you should be able to find a Washington off-ramp from I-405 and head west).
  • Breakfast is at a nearby cafe after the dancing.
  • For more information email squire or call 818-416-8845
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San Diego, CA with   Morton Bay Fig Morris

  • Meet us before dawn at the top of Mount Soledad Park in La Jolla.  Arrive early to hike up the hill.
  • 5:45 am - Dance up the sun on Mount Soledad Cross on Soledad Park Road
  • 6:30 am - Breakfast at Harry's Coffee Shop, 7545 Griard Ave, in La Jolla
  • Locations/Directions (directions are progressive):
    • Mira Mesa and I15: Take I15 South to SR163.  Keep Right on to SR163.  Take the SR52 exit to go West.  Go straight over I5 onto La Jolla Parkway.  Turn Left at the Torrey Pines Road Intersection.  Go up Hidden Valley Road until it T's into Via Capri.  Turn Right onto Via Capri.  Wind up the mountain until that T's into Soledad Road and La Jolla Scenic Drive.  Turn left onto Soledad Road and drive through the gate, if it is open, or park if it is not.
    • Soledad Mountain (From I5): Take Garnet West to Soledad Mountain Road. Turn Right/North on Soledad Mountain Road and go till it ends in a T. Turn Right onto La Jolla Scenic Drive. Drive into the Soledad Natural Park and look for morris dancers.
    • To Harry's - (from Soledad Mountain): From the park head back down Via Capri La Jolla Parkway and Torrey Pines Road.  Go West on Torrey Pines Road, Left on Girard at the Von's.  Harry's should be right there on your left (across from the Von's Parking lot).
  • For more information, email squire
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MOUNTAIN TIME ZONE
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Edmonton, AB with Edmonton Magpie Morris     

  • 5:45 am Wilbert McIntyre Park at the covered gazebo in Strathcona beside the Farmers Market
  • Dancing starts at sunrise, around 5:58 am.  Bring your own thermos - it can be quite chilly.  There will be a traditional sword fruitcake to share.  There is an offering of dried flowers and sometimes a small fire or candle lighting and recite a blessing for Spring.
  • For more information, email the team or call +1-780-475-1826
Magpie Morris Dancers teach a dance to the public, Beltane 2016
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Denver, CO with Maroon Bells Morris and maybe Breathless in Berthoud Border Morris

 

Come see these free performances from almost the only morris dancers in the Rocky Mountain Time Zone!  You can thank us now - we dance so you don't have to!

  • 5:45 am - Aquarius Trailhead. Louisville, CO (open at all - no need to let us know ahead of time if you are coming). Dancing for about an hour, depending on weather 375 Meadowlark Dr, Berthoud, CO 80513, for about an hour or so.
  • 7:00 am Team breakfast and annual general meeting for Colorado Morris Inc to follow.
  • 11:00 am to 11:30 am - Senior Living, Louisville.
  • Contact us for info if you interested in joining us for breakfast or the Senior Living set.
  • For more information, email squire or call 303-870-8671
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Phoenix, AZ with
Photo by Raven Kline

  • Due to a tear in the space-time continuum because Arizona doesn't do daylight savings time, we actually dance up the sun on Friday night, May 2.  Go figure!
  • 7:00 pm - We're (drinking and then) dancing at Phoenix's First Friday, staring at the The Lost Leaf (914 N 5th St), and then proceeding to dance in the surrounding blocks where the other First Friday events are.
  • For more information (including directions), email or call 480-286-2122.
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CENTRAL TIME ZONE
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Omaha, NE with Prairie Waves Morris

  • We are likely to do a few dances out in the street in the neighborhood.  This is good for scaring the dogs and puzzling/amusing the neighbors.  However, its mostly about keeping the faith.
  • For more information, email or call 402-553-2562
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Minneapolis, MN with Bells of the North, Brackleberry Morris, Northern Lights, Ramsey's Braggarts, and Uptown-on-the-Lakes


Bells of the North

Ramsey's Braggarts

Uptown-on-the-Lakes

The Twin Cities has a joint Sun Up ceremony, located on the Mississippi Gorge River Park in Minneapolis at the top of the bluff overlooking the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, where 36th Street 'T's with West River Parkway.  Just follow the sound of the bells.

  • Most people show up between 5:30 am and 5:50 am.   The Abram Circle dance starts promptly at dawn and is open to anyone who knows the dance - no need to be active on one of the morris sides.   Typically we have 100+ participants in the Dance.  After the Abram Circle the teams continue to do mass dances interspersed with one or two show dances from each team, typically in the order of team seniority.
    • We rotate through the local sides (Braggarts, Bellos of the North, Uptown on the Lake, Brackleberry, others) and we'll sing May Day songs.
  • After Sun up, those who don't need to rush off to work join for a mass breakfast at the "Egg and I".  Then the teams typically split up and do guerilla dancing at various places around the Twin Cities (sometimes with two more teams, sometimes solo).  As this varies from year to year there is no 'map' to the guerilla morris dancing.
  • Around 5:00 pm the teams will dance and process down Nicollet Mall, (located here) starting at both ends and meeting at the IDS Center around 6:00 pm
  • For additional information, see the teams' websites or email Upton's squire
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Madison, WI with Oak Apple Morris

  • 5:45am to 8:00am - dance up the sun at Picnic Point off of University Bay Drive, followed by Maypole dancing and singing around a bonfire.  We pass the winter witch for people to put their worries on, and then pass spring maiden for people to put their hopes on.
  • Around 8:00am - we head off to breakfast and anyone may join us.
  • Additional locations TBD.  Please check our Facebook page.
  • For more information, email squire
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St. Louis, MO with and The Capering Roisters

  • 5:45am - meet at The Jewel Box in Forest Park located at Wells and McKinkey Dr in St. Louis, MO
  • All are welcome, and over the years quite a crowd has accumulated!  Dancing continues for at least an hour and usually longer.  Sometimes there is a Maypole, but there is always singing (song sheets provided).  Breakfast follows at a mysterious location to be revealed.
  • For more information, email front person or call 314-560-2778
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EASTERN TIME ZONE
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Burlington, VT with On the Border Morris    

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Rockport, ME with Highland Mary

  • Sunrise - meet at Beech Hill, Rockport (map), and continue to Rockland town landing
  • For more information, email
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Thetford, VT with Four Corners Morris, Green Mountain Morris, Maple Leaf Morris, Catamount Morris

  • 5:30am to 7:00am - Dance up the sun at  the Thetford Village Green, Thetford Hill, VT (exit 14 from I-91).  Sometimes there's a Maypole as well.
    •  Breakfast usually follows at a Four Corners Morris member's house in South Strafford.  Details at the event itself.
    • This is Motley Morris at its best and anyone can participate.  Sometimes there are different sets of a dance, each one in a different tradition.
  • For more information, email or call 802-672-1244.

    Watch Maple Leaf Morris as the sun peeks over the horizon on May Day 2010
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Putney, VT with Putney Morris Men, and Putney Mountain Morris

  • Continue the 20+ year tradition of morris dancing for Mayday sunrise on the top of Putney Mountain (a 1 mile hike in from the Putney Mountain Parking lot at the top of Putney Mountain Road.  Park by 5am to walk up and see dancing at 5:30am (and hopefully sunrise at 5:45am) with a crowd of 75+ onlookers (if the weather is good, 40+ if rainy/snowy).
  • 6:45a - Dancing at the Putney Town Hall, after which the teams retire to the Putney Diner for their end-of-season breakfast.
  • For more information, email squires or

    Watch Putney Morris Men at Town Hall, May Day 2008
    Watch Putney Mountain Morris Women on the mountain, May Day 2011 and at town hall, May Day 2012

   

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Toronto, ON Canada with Toronto Morris Men, Toronto Women's Sword, Orange Peel Morris, Green Fiddle Morris, Belles of York, Cold Barn Morris, Half Crown Clog, and others

  • 5:45 am - gather to dance the sun up in High Park in Toronto, across from the Grenadier restaurant.  Mimosas and orange juice with strawberries are on hand.
    • Each team will dance twice in order of rotation, and there will be a few mass (any who will) dances, and a couple of regular songs led by members of the community.  A crier announces each group for the audience.
    • This is the 39th May Day for the Toronto Morris Community.  2017 will mark the 40th anniversary of Green Fiddle Morris.
  • Afterwards, cross the street to the Grenadier restaurant, or head back to the house of a member of one of the teams for a pot-luck breakfast.
  • There is a "Wake the City Tour" for Green Fiddle Morris and Friends after breakfast.  Anyone interested in joining the Tour should contact
  • For more general information, email or
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Syracuse, NY with Heartwood Morris Dancers of Ithaca, Bassett Street Hounds, Ribbonsteel Rapper, and Snowbelt Morris of Rochester, hosted by Thornden Morris

 
  • 6:00 am to 7:30 am - Dancing at dawn at the Water tower in Thornden Park, Syracuse.  Dawn dancing includes a topical mummer's play, singing, and a Maypole dance for all (sequence will be taught).  Coffee and morris cake will be provided.  But WAIT!  There's lots more details provided by the Hounds and Thornden - or email , , or .
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Marlboro, VT with Marlboro Morris and Sword, along with the Marlboro Morris Men, and Windham

  • Our "floating May Day" happens on the first Saturday in May,
  • No formalized schedule at this time, but will start around 10:00 am on South Rd in Marlboro around 1-1/2 miles from Rt 9, and proceed dancing at several houses, stopping for lunch at 1598 South Road.
  • 2:00 pm - dance at Battleboro Farmers' Market
  • For more information, email squire
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Nelson, NH with Firebird and Jack in the Green

  • 5:42 am to sunrise - dancing at Memorial Field the Dublin School, Dublin, NH (please park behind our new visual arts building - Gillespie Hall on William North Road off the Harrisville Road, and walk to the upper field).
  • For more information email Firebird contact or Jack in the Green squire .
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Albany, NY with Pokingbrook Morris Dancers


Pokingbrook Morris has been dancing up the sun in Washington Park in Albany for 40 years.
  • 6:30 am ("morris dawn") - gather near the Moses statue that faces Madison Avenue, and dance for an hour or more.
  • Afterwards, adjourn to a local diner for breakfast, bringing many of our regular fans with us.
  • 2:30 pm - After dancing on a village green or two, arrive at Universal Pathways in Berne NY, for a maypole, picnic, more morris dancing, and a Beltane bonfire.
  • Anyone who can't make it for the early morning dancing and/or wants to catch up with the tour later on should email or call 518-464-8603 and leave a message.
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Untitled Document Grand Rapids, MI with Bells of River City
  • 6:00 am - Heartside Park, Grand Rapids
  • For more information, email co-squires or

    Watch a video of Bells of River City May Day 2009
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Ann Arbor, MI with

  • 6:00 am to 7:30 am - Meet on the overlook down the high-road path from the Geddes street entrance to Nichols Arboretum
    • Dancing starts around 6:15 am. 
    • We do Morris dances, traditional May songs, and always at least one audience participation dance.
  • When that's done, we dance in the Diag in Ann Arbor, then go somewhere to breakfast and sometimes dance some more afterwards.
  • For details on the day's schedule other information, email the , or check out the team Meetup Group with this and many other events.

    Watch a video of Ann Arbor Morris
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Montague, MA with Stick'n the Mist Border Morris and a host of others.


 
  • Due to a warp in the time-space continuum, Montague May Day has shifted to May 5th.  It starts at 10:30 am at the Montague Center.  There will be a parade down the main street (starting around 11:00 am), Maypole dancing, numerous teams of various flavors dance, and singing.
  • For more information, email the team
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Chesterfield, MA with Borderline Morris

  • Dancing the sun up around 5:00 am at the Chesterfield Gorge, in West Chesterfield, MA 01084.
    • There will be Morris dancing, singing, tossing Old Man Winter into the gorge!  All are welcome!
    • Bring a snack if wanted, and warm clothes/blankets!
  • Afterwards, the team has a potluck breakfast in Worthington.
  • For more information, email or call 413-325-4039.
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Amherst (area), MA with Juggler Meadow Morris Men, Johnny Jump Ups, Hart's Brook Garland, Marlboro Morris Men, Wake Robin Morris, and And Sometimes Y Manx,Morris & Sword


Juggler Meadow Morris Men

Hart's Brook Garland Women

Wake Robin Morris


And Sometimes Y
  • Dancing the sun up (around 5:00-6:00 am):
    • Hart's Brook, Juggler Meadow, Johhny Jump Ups, and And Sometimes Y Manx, Morris & Sword at the Shutesbury Common.
    • Marlboro Morris Men, Poets Seat in Greenfield
    • Wake Robin Morris, from about 5:15 am to 6:30 am, on top of Mt. Pollux in So. Amherst, dancing and singing until after the sun has cleared the horizon.
  • But wait!  There's more - most teams do tour after the sunrise thing and breakfast. Tours on don't go very late, and usually there's a late lunch gathering somewhere in downtown Amherst, on a restaurant's patio if the weather is good.)
    • Around 8:45am or 9:00am after breakfast - Wake Robin Morris dances near the permiculture gardens at UMASS until about 9:45am.  The rest of the day they are dancing at day care centers and nursing homes (not open to the public).
  • Rumored appearances - check with the team's contact to confirm:
    • After sun-up, And Sometimes Y tours local elementary schools with Johnny Jump Ups.  Schools are TBD, but check their Facebook page for more details.
  • For more information, contact the team(s):
    • And Sometimes Y, email or
    • Hart's Brook, email
    • Johnny Jump Ups, email
    • Juggler Meadow, email or 413-320-9598
    • Wake Robin Morris, email or call 413-834-8761
Wake Robin Morris dancing Nutting Girl as a jig for all of the team who went on the tour to England, at Stone Henge  July 2016.
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Boston, MA with Newtowne Morris Men and the Country Dance Society - Boston Center hosting Red Herring Morris, Pinewood Morris Men, Muddy River Morris, Banbury Cross Morris, , Ha'Penny Morris, and Bubble Rapper.

 
 
Newtowne Morris Men                                 Red Herring                               Pinwoods Morris Men


           Muddy River                         Banbury Cross                            Ha'Penny Morris                  

This May Day celebration has been annually going on since 1973.  It may be the oldest continuing May Day celebration in the USA.

  • 5:30 am - 8:30 am at the Weeks Foot Bridge (directions here), going over the Charles River in Cambridge by Boyleston St.  There will be a Maypole, Morris dancing, Garland dancing, some folk dance and much singing.  This is a community event.  Everybody joins in the Maypole, the dancing and the singing.  Hundreds of people usually show up.
  • Afterwards teams will progress to two other locations around Harvard Square.
  • Wax nostalgic and get the feeling of a May Day past.
  • For more information, email Newtowne's squire -

    Watch the videos from May Day 2003 and May Day 2005
    Red Herring performing Takking at NEFFA 2013

 

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Binghamton, NY with Binghamton Morris Men and B. F. Haridans

 

  • After sleeping in, both teams will be dancing at the Binghamton's First Friday Art Walk.
  • For more information, contact or call 607-723-1660.
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Narragansett, RI with Ladies of the Rolling Pin     

The Ladies of the Rolling Pin is one of only a few all women's Border Morris dance teams. We have been stirring things up in Rhode Island since 1998 with just the right mix of leavening and levity. We never fail to get a rise out of audiences with a well-seasoned style, energy and music.

  • 5:42 am - dance at dawn at Narragansett Town beach near the Towers, at 35 Ocean Road, Narragansett.  There's a lovely potluck breakfast after dancing.
  • For more information, email or check out their Facebook page
See their 2016 May Day flyer
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New London, CT with Westerly Morris Men and Mystic Garland Dancers



  • 5:30 am - meet to dance at Connecticut College located on Route 32 north of Route 95, in New London, CT on the main college green (Tempel Green) in front of Blaustein Humanities Center
  • For more information, email Westerly's squire .

See Mystic Garlandschannel

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New Haven, CT with New Haven Morris and Sword

   

  • 5:40 am to 6:45 am - Edgerton Park in New Haven, corner of Whitney Avenue and Cliff Street.  If that entrance is closed, try the gate on Edgehill Road opposite Edgehill Terrace.  We dance on the Great Lawn in the center of the park.
  • For more information, email or call 203-776-1812

    Check out our 2008 ale video

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Brooklyn, NY with Ring O'Bells 

The May Pole is an all-inclusive, multi-generational event.  All are welcome.

  • 5:45 am - Nellie's Lawn in Prospect Park (meet at the Grand Army Plaza entrance to the park).  Check out our incredibly detailed map.
  • 6:00 am - Maypole time - dig the hole, get the pole, make the ribbons!
  • 6:45 am - Grab a ribbon and join the dance.  The May Pole is an all-inclusive, multi generational event.  All are welcome.  Bring instruments if you'd like to play music, or songs to sing.  Bring a short reading on a spring theme (animals and children are great topics) if you would like to read something aloud after the May Pole dance.
  • 7:15 am - Potluck picnic breakfast and Morris dancing.
  • Bring the Day!
  • For more information, email the

    See Ring O' Bells on May Day 2006
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New York City, NY with  Bouwerie Boys Morris Dancers

  • 6:30 am - Meet near 79th Street (in Riverside Park)for an hour of dancing followed by the annual team breakfast at Mark Ettinger's apartment on W. 113th St.
  • For more information, email

    Watch a video of Bouwerie Boys in action!
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Princeton, NJ May Day Celebrations Organized for 35 years by Millstone River Morris, with guests Mercer Maypole Dancers, Singers, & Padstow Hobby Horse Troupe

  • 5:45 am to around 7:00 am - dawn performance on the site of the Mercer White Oak in Princeton Battlefield State Park, 500 Mercer Rd, Princeton, NJ 08540.  Participatory May Pole and English Country Dancing for all!
  • 7:00 am - dance go off to Breakfast Feast.
  • Performances in local schools (closed to public).
  • Late afternoon singing and consumption of Bass Ale (or ice cream as age appropriate) - contact for this year's location.
  • For more information, email or call 609-240-6543

    See Millstone River Morris on May Day 2009
    See Millstone's May Day 2018 flyer
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Philadelphia, PA with Kingsessing Morris and Renegade Morris 

 

  • On May Day:
    • 6:00 am to 7:00 am (or more) - dancing at dawn on top of Belmont Plateau, Fairmount Park, 2000 Belmont Mansion Dr, rain or shine.
    • After dancing in Fairmount Park, we'll have breakfast together, then continue to downtown Philadelphia for more dancing and May Day celebrations.
       
  • For more information, email the squire for or
     
  • See Kingsessing Morris do the dances Takking from May Day 2009 and Devils Highway from May Day 2010
    Check out 3 generations of Renegade Morris doing Steamfitters from May Day 2011
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Bloomington, IN with

  • 6:45 am - Continuing their 30 plus-year tradition, Bloomington Quarry Morris dances at sunrise at the Monroe County Courthouse in Bloomington's central square, 100 West Kirkwood Avenue.
  • Afterwards is a team breakfast in a secret location disclosed only to the inner cadre of the team.
  • Come noonish we return to the Courthouse for more dancing and another maypole, then off to a private house party.
  • For more information, contact or call 812-325-0993.
    Watch the team's 2009 May Day Winster processional
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Washington, DC with Foggy Bottom Morris Men, Rock Creek Morris Women and joined this year by new American champion sword team Sligo Creek Sword

Rock Creek Morris Women     

Early morning route through Takoma Park, MD:

At this point we jump on metro and head somewhere downtown (DC), causing mischief.  This year its:

Note: Morris dancers stranded in DC for May Day are welcome to join us in kit or not for any part of this tour (including breakfast and lunch).  For more information, see our Facebook event, or email Foggy Bottom's squire .

(All Map links at once)

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Charlottesville, VA with Albemarle Morris Men (with a possible guest appearance by Underground Morris)
Albemarle Morris Men
  • Start dancing at sunrise - Lee Park, one block north of the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville (there is no off-street parking).  There are usually muffins and hard boiled eggs available.  Feel free to bring your own coffee or treats (although it's luckier if you bring enough for the dancers, too!)
  • For more information, email Albemarle squire
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Yorktown, VA with Druken Weasels Border Morris 

  • Gather just before sunrise at Poley Point on the Colonial Parkway, Yorktown, VA to dance a bit and have some cake.  Less a performance than a guerilla dance out, the Weasels are up to no good! Wanna see it? Of course you do, so contact for further info, and check out their Facebook page.
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Brasstown, NC with Dame's Rocket Northwest Clog and Rural Felicity Garland Dancers, StiX in the Mud Border Morris, and Magic Rapper

  • Knowning better than to get up early, the Brasstown Morris teams attend the May Day parade and performance at the John C Campbell Folk School on Saturday, April 27 from 11:20 am to 12:30 pm.
  • For more information, email .
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Gainsville, FL with

  • 06:45 am to 8:00 am - We "dance the sun up" at the Baughman Meditation Center on the west shore Lake Alice on the University of Florida campus.  It's located at the SE corner of Museum Rd and Radio Rd (982 Museum Rd, Gainsville, FL 32461).  Dances to be chosen by random drawing, and finishing up with a maypole dance for all.  BRING A FEW FLOWERS for the Annual May Day Flower Boat Regatta.
  • 8:15 am to 9:45 am - team breakfast at Peach Valley Cafe, 3275 SW 34th St.
  • 10:00 am to 11:00 am - Dance performance at Depot Park, 874 SE 4 St.
  • 11:15 am to 12:15 pm - Dancing and touring along the boardwalk at Bivens Arm Park, 3650 S Main St.

For more information, check the team Facebook page or email squire

See Greenwood in action on the team's channel

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What IS Morris Dancing?

Morris dancing is a living tradition of English celebratory and ritual dance with live music, and origins shrouded in mystery and the mists of time.   Shakespeare used it in his plays and it was old then.  The dancers usually wear bells at their knees and often wave hankies (to attract and welcome benevolent spring and summer spirits) or clash sticks (symbolizing the eternal battle between winter and summer), and the dances have traditionally been performed around the time of major celebration or seasonal cross points in the calendar.  Indeed, dances of comparable form and dancers in similar costumes are found elsewhere in Europe and around the world, and may be thought to be part of the universal urge to influence and honor the unknowable forces which govern our lives.

One of the most colourful descriptions of morris was provided in the 15th century, by Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh, the Black Adder who said, "Morris dancing is the most fatuous, tenth-rate entertainment ever devised by man.  Fourty effeminate blacksmiths waving bits of cloth they've just wiped their noses on.  How it's still going on in this day and age I'll never know."

Modern morris includes several different types of dance, all from different regions of England; Cotswold Morris from the south, Border Morris from the west, Molly Dancing from the southeast, and Northwest Morris from the northwest. Other dance styles such as Longsword, Rapper (sword), Clog, and Garland are often included in the term "morris".

There are lots of ways to get more detail about Morris dancing, but the absolutely best way is to find a morris dancer, take them to a pub, offer them refreshment, and ask for the real story.  It's guaranteed good luck, too!


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Last update March 11, 2020
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