The event begins while the Farmers’ Market is still in progress (10 am to 1 pm), with face painting (by-donation), garland, mask and wand making, plus a prize draw. And the minute the market closes at 1pm, Morris Dancers explode on to the market grounds and the fun begins. Raffle draws, children’s circle pledge to the earth, singing and then the pole bearers gather and are sworn in. The pole bearers will carry the Maypole (yes, we have one of those) down to Miners Bay Park in a great procession. All sorts of music, drums and noisemakers accompany the pole and very importantly, our soon to be crowned May Queen and her Green Man (a mythical figure who embodies the spirits of plants & trees). Last year’s May Queen is in this noble entourage too because she will crown the incoming queen. Accompanying the VIPs we always have fairies, nymphs & elves. We have bees, ladybugs, brave knights and dragons and a couple of gentlemen dressed in their best summer frocks. What will you wear? You can always make a garland at the market.
In the park, we have a mown grass labyrinth and that is where the coronation will take place. The new queen swears allegiance to the earth and promises to look after the crops and the land and the sea ensuring that we do no harm so that we can all enjoy the fruits offered to us. Following the coronation, the Maypole dances begin: first the children dance and then the island “maidens” perform the colourful ribbon dance. This could be followed by a spiral dance which includes everyone. As all of this is thirsty work, refreshments (by donation) of lemonade and cake are served to all. Children’s games start and they are great fun. Maybe there will be more dancing. We never quite know.
This event is free but donation baskets are at the market and the Gazebo in Miners Bay Park where the refreshments are served. All the proceeds go to the Mayne Island Conservancy to help in the work we are doing on the island. The event finishes mid-afternoon. For more info and to volunteer please contact Maggi Cheetham firstname.lastname@example.org.