Mendon May Day— 1958
In Mendon, May Day Fete Is Traditional— As traditional as spring itself is the annual Mendon May Day celebration, scheduled this year for Saturday, May 3rd, on the church square. As early as 1869, ten years after the founding of Mendon, little girls danced around the maypole in their spring-best frocks, a queen was crowned, and the crowd gaily sang “Straying and Maying,” and “Come to the Woodland, Away, Away,” just as they will do this Saturday. The annual celebration began after the early pioneers had left the fort and established their homes in Mendon. English converts had celebrated May Day in their homeland and introduced the custom here. In England May Day was celebrated by gathering bouquets of flowers and blossoms, then marching around the square, led [by] the music of a band. The music for May Day in Mendon originated with violins and accordions but for the past few years the piano has been the sole musical accompaniment. Activities Listed— For many years May Day was observed strictly on the first day of May, and if it happened to be stormy, or if the day fell on a Sunday, festivities were called off for a year [sometimes for a week or two, once for a month]. However, the celebration is now scheduled for the first Saturday in May, and a full day’s activities is planned by the people of the town. Pauline Sorensen has been named queen of the May for 1958, and will be crowned by her consort, Melvin Stockett, at 10:00 a.m. Saturday. Other royalty who will look picture-pretty in their pastel party dresses are Vonda Richards, Ruth Olsen, Nellie Stockett, Marilyn Kidman and Sandra Whitney. The maypole dance will be done by twenty-four lovely little girls, who are enthusiastically practicing now for the big occasion. In the afternoon there will be races and other sports, including the traditional tug-of-war. A dance in the evening will conclude the day’s activities. Mendon’s May Day observance has been under the direction of the Sunday school organization ever since it first began. The superintendency in charge of this year’s events are Zeno Andersen, Floyd Roundy and Ronald Jensen. They will be assisted by other officers and teachers.
Picture Caption: Pretty as May blossoms in their pastel party dresses are members of Mendon’s May Day royalty; from left, Vonda Richards, Ruth Olsen, Nellie Stockett, Pauline Sorensen, May Queen; Marilyn Kidman, Sandra Whitney. Celebration is Saturday.
May Festival In Mendon Set Saturday— A full day of festivities for Mendon’s May Day celebration this Saturday has been outlined by the Mendon ward Sunday school superintendency. Pauline Sorensen will be crowned Queen of the May by her Consort Melvin Stockett at ten o’clock Saturday morning. Her attendants include Vonda Richards, Ruth Olsen, Nellie Stockett, Marilyn Kidman and Sandra Whitney. The traditional maypole dance will then be performed by twenty-four Mendon maidens of the younger variety. The afternoon events will include races, ball games, a tug-of-war and other competitive sports. A dance in the evening will conclude the 1958 activities, according to Zeno Andersen, general chairman. May Day events were listed today by Superintendent Zeno Andersen as follows: Crowning of queen at 10:00 a.m., maypole dance follows, along with a program. Principal speakers is Ned J. Bodily, principal of Mendon school. 1:00 p.m., riding demonstrations by Mendon Skyline Riders; 2:00 p.m., children’s dance; 3:00 p.m., races and tug o’ war; 4:00 p.m., softball game, junior M Men vs. married men; 9:00 p.m., public dance in ward recreation hall.
Gaiety, Color Abundant At May Festival— If Mendon was ever your home you were back there Saturday morning on the church square to join in singing: “Come to the woodland, away, away. Gathering flowers for the Queen of May. Everything lively and bright and rare. Weaving a garland for one so fair. Sing with the wild birds a song today, Pauline, our Pauline is Queen of May.” And you stood in the circle of old friends around the maypole, remembering other May Day mornings while young Melvin Stockett placed a wreath of pink blossoms on Pauline Sorensen’s head, and she joined the ranks of almost a hundred other Mendon May Queens. Every year when the first green of spring meets the snow half way up the lovely old mountain the same ceremony has taken place. For almost a hundred years now the same songs have been sung, from the pretty young girls of the town, a queen and her attendants have been chosen and twenty-four of the little girls dressed in lavender and green, their shiny hair bobbing as they dance, have wound the maypole. Today’s pretty brown-haired queen dressed in pale pink was attended by Ruth Olsen, Marilyn Kidman, Nellie Stockett, Sandra Whitney and Vonda Richards. Her little sister, Doreen Sorensen was flower girl and Larry Bodily was crown bearer. When the lavender and green ribbons were braided down the maypole the crowd entered the church where a program, also a tradition of the day, was presented. Norma Baker played a steel guitar solo, Glenna Buist gave a reading, Sandra Whitney and Linda Bird played a clarinet duet. Ned J. Bodily was the speaker of the day. Hilda Whitney played a piano solo, Carl Ashby sang. Lizzie Barrett gave a musical reading, a quartet composed of Rena B. Leishman, LaRayne B. Christensen, Edith S. Maughan and Ella G. Maughan sang accompanied by Ruth Maughan. Bishop Rulen Ladle spoke and Linden K. Wood and Donald Leishman gave the prayers. During the afternoon there was a children’s dance and a variety of games and races. A dance in the recreation hall in the evening brought to a conclusion May Day for another year.
Picture Caption: Pretty little girls winding the maypole during Mendon celebration yesterday are watched by a large crowd of townsmen and friends. To the left are May Queen Pauline Sorensen and her court. She had just been crowned in colorful ceremony.
Mendon Started It— And suddenly it’s summer! That fact is emphasized not only by the warm and dry weather of the past week, but more solidly by the imminence of community celebrations throughout Dear Old Cache Valley. It seemed that the Christmas tree had hardly been dragged away from the backyard before Mendon announced her May Day festival. That was yesterday; the pretty children, colorfully clad, danced their traditional ceremony; a queen was crowned, and a maypole braided. Then this coming week there comes Smithfield Health Days. Events really begin Wednesday, and will reach a climax Saturday, May 10th. Richmond follows with her Black and White show, May 16th and 17th. It’s soon June, now— the month of Franklin Idaho’s Pioneer Day and the Logan Dairy Days. July brings the traditional Independence Day and Pioneer Day celebrations; the county fairs are in August, and Wellsville Founders Day features Labor Day. It was a short summer! But seriously: our communities are to be commended for their excellent celebrations. They deserve the support of all of us. It’s interesting and refreshing to visit the other man’s town during his special events, to renew some acquaintances, to enjoy his hospitality. Circle those dates right now.Picture Caption: The Royal Court at Mendon May Day Festival is shown here, with the magnificent Wellsville Range [Mendon Mountains] for a backdrop. Queen Pauline Sorensen wears the crown, attended by Ruth Olsen, Marilyn Kidman, Nellie Stockett, Sandra Whitney and Vonda Richards. Doreen Sorensen is the flower girl, and Larry Bodily, crown bearer. Following the crowning of the queen, twenty-four little girls wound the maypole.