The Bulletin

CWS May Fair: A New Experience with Old Ties

Thursday, May 2012

A Neighborhood Block Party- Free & Open to the Public

The May Fair is an annual celebration of Spring, the Arts and creativity that is celebrated by Waldorf schools throughout the Americas and Europe. This event connects the school to the larger community and celebrates the spirit by which Waldorf schools nourish and support the whole child. May Fair takes on its own aura for each individual school as activities range from barbecues to child-made crafts, handworking, silk dying and more. The most iconic element of May Fair is the maypole dance that evokes the same pride and spirit as it did in festivals centuries ago.

The CWS May Fair has evolved from a celebration for children into a community-wide affair that seeks to incorporate the live arts and culture in the neighborhood. The festival features dancing, live entertainment and music, games, food, craft-making, and unique vendors and exhibitors.

Here are a few links to interesting related historical Maypole images and facts:

Old Maypole Postcards 1920s Maypole Dance Maypole 1933
The Country Maypole A History of the Maypole

Maypole Engraving



Entertainment & Performances at the May Fair (these appear on the main stage)

In addition to the many games, crafts and activities that will be available to the Chicago Waldorf School May Fair participants, the event will feature a lively roster of entertainers:

10:15am Katy Collins: Storytelling & Song

Especially for the Early-Childhood crowd, Katy Collins, actress/storyteller extraordinaire from the Fable Festival will read the TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES. She also will have a guitar and interactive songs to sing with younger children.

11:00am Licorice Sticks

The Licorice Sticks are Chicago-based ensemble, conducted by CWS's own private woodwind instructor Rick Kissinger, who play Jazz, classical, Dixieland, Broadway, pop and much more. The Licorice Sticks include the full range of the clarinet family from monstrous BBb & EEb Contra Bass, the Bb Bass, Eb Alto, Bb Soprano and the "baby" Eb Sopranino clarinet. See their website for Sunday concerts at CWS, in the auditorium.

12:00noon Maypole Dance

The center of May Fair celebrations, the maypole bears garlands and is a symbol for the growth of new vegetation and spring life. Our 4th graders dance and play pentatonic flutes around the pole that is sprawling with greenery and colored ribbons attached to the top. Their complicated and coordinated dance movements allow the ribbons to intertwine and create a braided weave around the pole.

1:00pm CWS Circus Club Performance

Our Circus Club students will perform a variety of physical feats including tumbling, acrobatics and floor gymnastics, clowning, hip-hop dance performance, juggling, and more. See teams execute advanced unicycle skills, jump-rope exhibitions and more. Coached by professional circus artists, athletes and acrobats, this is our students’ chance to show off their excellent circus skills.

2:00pm Magician Sean Masterson

Sean Masterson became interested in magic at the age of seven. As a youth he won Chicago’s Junior Magician of the Year award and has continued a long and successful Chicago career in which he has developed a theatrical magic show that amuses and perplexes audiences. Sean returns from a well-received performance at last years May Fair; see what new magic he has for us this year!

3:00pm CWS High School Musicians Perform

The High School Students will offer their music in performance at the May Fair. The High School Band will perform songs both contemporary and classic. Come out and hear our students!

In addition to these performers, the May Fair will have a variety of booths and other activities including the traditional Cake Walk, Jump Rope Braiding Machines, Tie-Dye Station, Handmade Hula Hoops, Flower Crowns, Arts & Crafts projects for kids and Treasure Hunt and more!

For more information about the May Fair please contact the Chicago Waldorf School main office at 773.465.2662