Come One, Come All!
It’s May Day morning -
Help us dance up the sun!
(the Morris community’s answer
to "dancing 'till dawn")
Original image likely by Roberta Wackett
reproduced courtesy of EFDSS
Due to COVID-19 health
concerns, most May Day celebrations have
been cancelled, restricted, or changed to virtual gatherings.
do not violate stay-at-home laws. We also recommend you
your local team or event to confirm details (there
are a lot
of last-minute changes going on and we don't always get timely
We know most of you are under shelter-at-home restrictions. We fully
support you keeping safe! That said, the
Belles of London City
(Southwark, England) have provided this public service instructions on a
DIY at-home May Day celebration.
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
- it means the latest info is we received was during 2020
(but it still
may not be current vis-à-vis COVID-19).
Meanwhile, taste the imagery of Rose Blakeley'sCeremony of May (audio requires Flash plug-in)
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.
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
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).
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.
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
We are looking at how to mark May Day this year for the Toronto and GTA community. There are some technical issues we are
attempting to address with a virtual sing which may happen. That said, we will still do May Day in Toronto, along with a tour
of the City after breakfast as in a normal year. We are still here and we will mark the day in some physically distant socially
No Toronto Women's Sword gathering due to COVID-19
May Day this year is called off due to COVID-19.
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
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
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.
Instead of a public gathering, we will be posting a special
surprise on May on our
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.
Our day is the usual mayhem and dancing and proselytizing the joy of morris with pub stops to sing and carouse. There is a
charming group of preschoolers who have caught our Roscoe the Rooster show, and sometimes we get them to learn a dance!
At this point we jump on
and head somewhere downtown (DC), causing mischief. This year its:
12:00 noon - Head over to
Union Market for more dancing and lunch.
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
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!)
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
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
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!
logos copyright the respective teams, used with permission
Last update April 30, 2020
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