Saturday, May 8, 2010

Magical May Day Merriment in Minneapolis

I love my city, though I don't always remember this.  Last weekend was the annual MayDay Parade and Pageant, orchestrated by the Powderhorn Heart of the Beast Puppet Theater.  A community-based event, this is 1970s hippydom come mature, embracing the diversity of the core city.  It is also a renaissance of ancient, earth-based celebrations such as Beltane - modernized to take in contemporary issues and visions.

I'm trying an experiment with putting in a slide show of the parade and the later Powderhorn Park pageant and festival.

Parade first (refresh the page to start the slide show):

Cool! That seems to work!

In the park, it was a festive atmosphere as I threaded my way through the throngs of people, and found a spot on the hillside to watch the pageant. The best view was from high in the tree ahead of us, but I could see what was happening. The drama was more mythic than some years, and less political: the burdened people (coming in with huge rocks on their backs, while the narrators shouted out in Spanish and English all of the negativity that we carry in our heads) were transformed/released by some bird-headed figures, then the forces of nature (river, woods, plains, and sky) along with the Tree of Life, welcomed back the sun - which arrived in a red canoe, paddling to the drumbeats. Before the sun's return, the Tree of Life did a lovely pavane with the figure of death, gave herself in to dying - then was raised anew in her summer splendor.

The rest of the photos are the festival after the pageant, as I moved back through the happy folks, looking at food booths and cause booths and displays on the grass and many, many people. (Again, refresh the page to restart.)

At the end, I walked many blocks to my car (past the flowering yards of the Powderhorn neighborhood) and did a photo of my shadow.

From MayDay Pageant at Powderhorn

A long, and magical day.


Laoch of Chicago said...

Wow: wonderful.

ellen abbott said...

How cool is that?! I wish I had been there.