It may not seem like spring this week, with way more weeds than sunshine, but Sunday is May Day: the first of May, traditionally a holiday in Europe to welcome in warmer weather. (One can always hope, right?) From medieval times, villagers would take the day off to sing, gather flowers and dance around a maypole, making complex patterns with ribbons. You too can celebrate May Day, either with the Puget Sound Revels or Tacoma Art Museum.
If you’d like a taste of that tradition, the Puget Sound Revels folks will be welcoming in May Day as they do each year downtown, with dances, songs, flower-decorating and ceremonies. This year, the May Day Sing has moved from Tollefson Plaza (where it seemed rather lost and echoey) to Fireman’s Park, nestled between the old City Hall and the edge of downtown, due to a conflict with the Tacoma City Marathon.
“Tollefson Plaza is ugly, but we liked filling it up with flowers,” says Mary Lynn, the Revels’ executive director.
This year’s May Day will be similar to last year’s, offering folks of all ages a chance to make a flower crown, sing choruses and dance around a maypole.
And if it rains?
“If it rains, it rains,” says Lynn. “We’ll be out there.”
The May Day Sing is from 2-3:30 p.m. May 1 at Fireman’s Park, South 8th and A Streets, Tacoma. It’s free. 253-756-1804, www.pugetsoundrevels.org
Or, if you’re looking for something more American, bring the family to Tacoma Art Museum, where entry is free for everyone under 18 at an Americana Celebration. As well as Norman Rockwell art inside, there’ll be traditional family games, art-making upstairs and performances of American classics at noon. The Museum Café will be serving hot dogs, or you can picnic on the plaza outside.
The Americana Celebration is from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. May 1 at Tacoma Art Museum, 1701 Pacific Ave., Tacoma. Adult entry is $9. 253-272-4258, www.tacomaartmuseum.org