It’s funny what a few miles can do for your understanding of the city you call home. Twelve years ago I called a neighborhood in downtown proper my home. Ten years ago it was UpTown. But it wasn’t until I moved across I-35W that I heard of May Day. Or, at least, May Day Minneapolis style, thanks to the people at Heart Of The Beast Theater.
I was familiar enough with the first of May to know its loose affiliation with worker’s party rights and, thereby, socialism. Nothing wrong with that, by the way–not trying to pass any judgment here. And of course there’s the usual rituals with May Poles.
But it took a home situated closer to the Heart Of The Beast itself, and neighborhoods filled with people who enjoy revelry, arts and some level of politics, to finally introduce me to the May Day Parade and Festival that calls Powderhorn Park its home every spring.
Catherine took me there the first year I asked “What are all those people doing walking up the street today, honey?” and I’ve been in love with it ever since.
It’s partly because of the street music. Parades and drums are MEANT to go together.
It’s partly because of the artwork and theater. If you love the cleaner parts of Mardi Gras the way I loved it in Basel and, a year later, New Orleans, the HOTB does May Day exactly the way you’d want it.
And, finally, it’s partly because of the social and political commentary made by people at the parade–both participants and goers.
Why do you love May Day?