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Welcoming spring to the Lakes Region

Calvin Dundore, 6, spins around while dancing at the Meredith May pole. Sarah Schmidt. (click for larger version)
May 06, 2009
LAKES REGION — Celebrating the first day of May in traditional form, children welcomed spring in Meredith and Moultonboro by dancing around the local May pole.

In Moultonboro, rainy skies threatened the colorful crepe ribbon pole that Moultonboro Public Library had raised on the library grounds. A downpour the night before dried up long enough to let the children play on the lawn for an hour.

"We were going to cut it (the pole) short if it rained and do it in the program room," said children's librarian Judi Knowles. "Luckily, it stopped raining."

May Day happened on spring vacation this year, meaning that the usual busloads of children from Moultonboro Central School - the "captive audience," as Knowles jokingly termed it - did not arrive. The traditional dance around the pole still drew a crowd of young children and parents, along with Riley the Reading Dog.

After all the children had arrived, two names were drawn from a hat to choose the May Queen and King. Connor Adams was chosen as King of the May, and given a jeweled (paper) crown. The Queen of the May, Sophia Markey, was crowned with a circlet of spring flowers.

"This is my first time (dancing around the May pole)," said Haylie Adams, 7. "It was wet, but it was fun."

After the pole was entirely wrapped in colorful crepe, the dancers and parents went inside to watch a sneak peak performance of the Kids on Stage's "Lion King, Jr." The musical tale of a lion prince's journey to adulthood will be performed on May 16 at 2 p.m., at the Moultonboro Academy Auditorium.

At Meredith Public Library, kids took advantage of the warm weather and soft grass to indulge in games of tag and chase. While they played, librarians set up the pole with cloth streamers on the lawn.

The Kinderchoir started the dance off with a short performance of "Here Comes the Sun," and "I've Got Peace Like a River." Afterwards, children and parents took hold of streamers for three dances around the May pole, weaving in and out, and doing a dance to the Hokey-Pokey.

"You are all the kings and queens of May!" said children's librarian Jessie Wright, before taking the kids indoors for a snack and special project.

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