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Candid Campus: The Lesser-Known Narratives of Bryn Mawr College

Big May Day: The Maypoles

Page from the scrapbook of Euretta Simons, Class of 1936

The May Day tumblers perform acrobatic stunts for the crowds by the maypoles on Merion Green. Their act heightened the anticipation for the grand dance.

As the tumblers and dancers continued their acts on Merion Green and the procession came to a close, the maypoles were set up for the grand dance. Each class recieved its own maypole. Runners held their garlands and proceeded to frolic and weave through the flowing ribbons. The recitation of the song To The Maypole commenced the dance:

To the Maypole let us on;

The time is swift and will be gone.

Then go lasses to the green

Where their beauties may be seen.

All fair lasses have lads to attend them,

Jolly brave dancers who can amend them;

To the Maypole let us on;

The time is swift and will be gone.

Come together, come sweet lass,

Let us trip it on the grass.

Courting, piping on the green,

The bravest lads will sure be seen.

There all day on first of May

Lads and lasses dance and play;

Come together, come sweet lass,

Let us trip it on the grass.

The Maypole Dance was one of the highlights of Big May Day. Dazzled viewers basked in the event's near-authenticity. The entirety of Big May Day was an elegant union of beautiful campus aesthetics, impressive theatrics, and the sheer reverence for the Bryn Mawr community.