Wednesday, April 29, 2009

May Day Festival Coming to Biltmore Village

Historically May Day has marked the end of the winter season by celebrating the coming of Spring and Summer. It’s good-bye to cold, windy days and welcome to those wonderful warm, flowerful summer days. In the early 1900s, May Day was a community celebration of hope and joy, and, was popularly celebrated.

This year, Biltmore Village is re-establishing May Day as a special commemoration for everyone to enjoy.

The festivities will begin at 11:00 am on Saturday, May 2 with music and dancing around the May Pole in the Village Plaza. May Pole Dancers will circle the pole each holding colored ribbons attached to the pole and then retrace their steps to unravel the ribbons.

That will be followed at 12:00 by two bluegrass bands playing until 4:30 pm. First on the schedule is the Moore Brothers, featuring 11 year old Jacob and his 6 year old brother Isaac. Next will be the Southern Crescent Bluegrass band playing in their traditional bluegrass style. Bluegrass music has been specifically chosen because of its happy foot-stomping rhythms, and its origin in the hills of Appalachia.

During the afternoon, local a cappella singing groups will perform as they stroll through the Village. And back by popular demand, there’ll be carriage rides providing the feel of yesteryear.

Everyone who attends is urged to bring canned food items for a special May Day basket which will be donated to MANNA Food Bank.

Restoring the May Day celebration was inspired by a 1906 photo of a May Pole dance occurring at the Biltmore Village plaza and recounts of a 1905 New York Times article that brought to light a colorful May Day celebration in Historic Biltmore Village.

“The Village has a hundred plus year history of being one of Asheville’s focal points. Celebrating the transition from Winter to Spring and Summer seemed like a great way to continue that,” said Stan Collins, president of the Merchants Association.

Biltmore Village is conveniently located across the street from the Doubletree Biltmore and Sleep Inn Biltmore Hotels. If you're coming in from out of town you can find reservations here.


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