Much Loved May Festival Just Around the Corner


Though April’s weather seemed manic, keep the faith that the second Saturday in May, when the Historical Society’s May Festival is scheduled on May 11th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the temperature will be in the high 70s with blue skies, the grass in the Historical Park (4610 Robb St.) will be a luxuriant green and the flower beds will be ablaze with color. 

Early on that Saturday the Maypole will be erected in the middle of the park, its festive ribbon streamers ready for Maypole dancing to commence at 11:00 and again at 1:00. Live music by the Golden Strings will put a bounce in dancers’ steps as they wind their way under and over, weaving a beautiful design on the pole. It’s as much fun to watch as it is to participate!

New this year is a puppet-making booth for real and “wanna-be” kids, complete with a hand puppet theater in which to invent stories with the newly completed puppets. Socks and a supply of fabrics and trinkets will be available for kids to fashion heroes, villains and damsels. Also new for kids is the May basket-making station where young and young-at-heart folks can fashion beautiful paper baskets to be filled with flowers and other goodies and given to a true love during May. 

Special guest this year is Johnny Baker, an award-winning poultry expert who will bring some of the most beautiful chickens you’ve ever set eyes on. Baker, who maintains ties with the Historical Society, has been breeding and exhibiting poultry for over 40 years. Most recently, he and his daughter won Reserve Grand Champion of Show at Denver’s National Western Poultry Show. He’ll be sharing his tips and tricks for poultry and encourages folks to come prepared with questions.

There’s always something new at the Historical Park, and museum tours are free at the May Festival. Re-imagination work continues in the museums to craft the Century-long Story (from the 1850s to the 1940s) and is currently focused in the White Family Home (the red brick Sears Kit Home) and the Old Post Office. “Pardon our mess” in those buildings, but enjoy a “trip back in time” as you wander through the Johnson log cabin and the old sod house (the Soddy) where you can experience what life was like for pioneers newly arrived from back east with only what they could fit in a wagon, then compare that existence with what was available a few years later in the Soddy after the railroad made goods and gadgets available established settlers.

The annual May festival is an excellent chance to gather the kids and c’mon over to spend the day in a time when life was simpler, when hitting a wooden ball with a croquet mallet to go through a wire hoop was the most complex undertaking, and it was easy to get distracted by lovely Victorian ladies and gents strolling about.

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