Mendon May Day— 1971
Picture Caption: Mendon May Day— A tradition in Cache Valley for over 100 years, this year will honor T. Kay Sorensen and Mrs. Owen (Mozelle Barrett) Sorensen who have worked on the celebration for thirty-five years. Mrs. Sorensen, pianist for the maypole dancers and the coronation march, has composed much of the music she plays. She has never missed a practice nor a May Day in thirty-five years. He conducts the singing of May Day songs, some of which were written by his grandfather Isaac Sorensen.
Mendon May Day Fete Is Saturday— Mendon will celebrate May Day, Saturday, the first day of May. This traditional celebration will be under the direction of the Sunday school superintendency, Merlin Yonk, Lemuel Earl, Sr. and Wayne Hiibner. At 10:30 a.m. the maypole dance will be performed by twenty little girls dressed in the May Day colors of lavender and green under the direction of Margene Willie, June Bowen and Lorna Ladle, accompanied by Mozelle Sorensen. The dance will be followed by the crowning of the queen Cindy Larsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leland Larsen by her consort Kevin Barrett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanton Barrett. The queen will be attended by her maids and their partners, Brenda Hardman and Kay Andersen, Shelley Maurer and Paul Taylor, Jean Sorensen and Jeffery Yonk, Marsha Leishman and Thayne Anderson, Claudia Reid and Mitchell James. T. Kay Sorensen will lead the audience in the singing of May Day songs with Mozelle Sorensen at the piano. If the weather permits these activities will be held on the church lawn. Following the crowning of the queen a program will be presented in the ward chapel with superintendent Merlin Yonk in charge. The children’s dance will start at 2:30 p.m. and children’s races will follow. Two ball games will be played. The adult dance will be at 9:00 p.m. Everyone in the valley is invited to come to Mendon on Saturday. Picture Caption: Royalty for Mendon’s May Day are, seated in front, Jessa Watkins, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Richard Watkins, flower girl; Darren Miller, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jerry Miller, crown bearer; standing, Marsha Leishman daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Donald Leishman; Jean Sorensen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Allan Sorensen; Queen Cindy Larsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leland Larsen; Shelly Maurer, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Dean Maurer, and Brenda Hardman, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Fred Hardman.
Printed May Day Program: Mendon May Day May 1st, 1971, 10:30 a.m. Queen’s Court: May Queen, Cindy Larsen; Consort, Kevin Barrett; Flower Girl, Jessa Watkins; Crown Bearer, Darren Miller. Maids of Honor with Escorts: Jean Sorensen with Jeff Yonk; Shelly Maurer with Paul Taylor; Marsha Leishman with Thayne Anderson; Brenda Hardman with Kay Andersen; Claudia Ried with Mitchell James. Dance Directors: Margene Willie, June Bowen and Lorna Ladle. Maypole Dance Accompanist: Mozelle Sorensen. May Day Dresses: Nan Earl and Blanche Yonk. May Day Chorister: T. Kay Sorensen. The 26 Maypole Dancers for 1971—
|Annette Yonk||ReNae Anderson||Nicole Bowen||Suzette Quinlan|
|Marian Saber||Stephanie Muir||Darlene Sandoval||Deanne Richards|
|Kaylene Jensen||Paula Anderson||Mary Jean Barrett||Michelle Bird|
|Tresa Quinlan||Cindy Kidman||Jenae Baker||Marcia Barrett|
|Lana Richards||Lynne Saber||Sharon Hardman||Mona Shaw|
|Natalie Hardman||Peggy Reid||Jolene Bodily||JoAnn Brown|
|Audrey Anderson||Kimberly Kidman|
May Day Program: Queen and her court will be introduced by T. Kay Sorensen. Afternoon Events: Children’s dance, 2:30 p.m.; races, 3:30 p.m.; ball games, after the races; evening dance, 9:00 p.m. Following the program and through the afternoon there will be home cooked foods for sale. Bar-B-Que, Hot Dogs, Pronto Pups, Pie, Cake, Candy, Pop. Proceeds go to the Mendon ward library project. Help us thank and honor these two special people (Mozelle Sorensen and T. Kay Sorensen) for the many years of service they’ve given. We appreciate the time and effort they put forth, and hope they enjoy this work many years to come. Under the direction of the Sunday school officers and teachers. We sincerely thank all who helped in any way to make this a successful day. Superintendency: Merlin Yonk, Lemuel Earl, Sr. and Wayne Hiibner.
T. Kay Sorensen, Featured May Day Speaker—
Kind Friends, we have met this lovely day,
To welcome again the spring.
The birds are singing a joyous lay,
And the trees their fragrance bring.
Nature has on her robe of green,
She smiles all through the day.
The pretty blossoms with the buds between,
Now blush in their old-fashioned way.
The fairies are calling for someone to reign,
Over all of the springtime array.
So we must now hasten our laurels to gain,
And crown _________ our Queen of May.
Thus wrote Bishop Henry C. Sorensen, the composition commonly spoken of as the crowners speech. Those of us who have been invited to do the honors have memorized and spoken these meaningful words as each has placed a crown of flowers on the head of a lovely girl. This and all that goes with it has had a refining influence on the young people of Mendon. The idea, is it said, came from the English converts who had taken part in May Day celebrations in England. In the beginning, with apple blossoms and May flowers around them, the townspeople went “Straying and Maying” around the public square. They followed the Marshal Band under the leadership of Frank Williams, who organized the young men and boys. The maypole dance and the crowning of the queen were later introduced. Larsine (Seny) Sorensen, who later married Alexander Richards was the first Mendon May Day Queen. Since then there have been many; and we honor them again today. I know of only two times in the history of this celebration when it was conducted differently. One time the queen was crowned by the Sunday school superintendent, who was my father, William Isaac Sorensen. The other time she [Arzella Bird, in 1915] was crowned by another girl, Julia Ahrens Muir. This was done because of a shortage of, or unwillingness on the part of the boys to act. But in the last fifteen or twenty years there has been no such problem. This might be because of the expertness of the Sunday school superintendency and the larger number of boys in this age group. As I have observed this program I can see the wisdom of the ward leaders of yesteryear in sponsoring a boy-girl relationship in a refined and beautiful setting. It has been suggested by some in the past that this program could be modernized. But it is my feeling that its strength is in its simplicity. It is time tested, having proven successful year after year. The words of the songs sung by the townspeople and the maypole dancers tell the story of Mendon’s May Day. The following are the songs that are used, the origin of which I am not sure:
Oh May Queen
Oh May Queen, Oh May Queen we’re coming.
Right gladly we greet you today,
The birds sing, the bees now are humming,
To welcome you Queen of the May.
Thy subjects, we bow down before thee,
With flowers we’ll deck your bright hair,
The garlands we weave we’ll swing O’r you,
To welcome you May Queen so fair.
’Tis A Merry May Day Morning
’Tis a merry May Day morning,
Sunshine all the hills adoring,
Skies are bluest, field are fairest,
Clouds are lightest, shadows rarest.
Soft and sweet the breezes blow,
Lest the brooklet laughing low.
Blossoms gaily nodding go, Merry May Day.
Merry, Merry May Day, Merry May Day.
Hail To The May Queen
Hail to the May Queen, the Merry May Queen
Hail to the May Queen, and now let us sing,
Let us dance in a ring, and welcome our Queen,
Hail to the Merry Queen of May Day.
Apple blossoms swing and sway,
In the merry month of May.
All the fairy folks are gay,
’Tis the merry month of May.
In the trees the birdies call,
Apple blossoms softly fall,
Here the robin sweetly say
’Tis the merry month of May.
When May breezes melt all the snow from the trees,
The tiny blue violets look up thro’ the leaves.
And the birds who have slept thro’ the long winter night,
Awaken and greet thee, Awaken and greet thee,
Awaken and greet thee with joy and delight,
Awaken and greet thee with joy and delight.
These songs have been memorized by the young girls of Mendon for over 100 years. Because of this inborn interest it is relatively easy for the girls to learn the songs and routine for the maypole dance. The queen’s company consists of approximately five couples, girls and boys about fifteen years of age. The boy who attends the queen is known as the consort. The other girls are maids of honor, each having an escort. [In 1974 the age of the queen was changed to seventeen, or to the age group of juniors in high school.] It is customary for the family of the queen to invite her company to her home for a fine dinner on the May Day. [The Mendon City Council has since this time, assumed the physical and financial responsibility for providing this meal, for the queen and her court.] Former residents of Mendon always make an effort to return to the old home town for this important celebration where they are sure to renew acquaintances with old friends and relatives. The Mendon May Day celebration is one worthwhile tradition which we hope will be kept alive for future generations.
Picture Caption: The rites of spring are celebrated each year in the Mendon May Day Festival. Gaily dressed young girls are shown above as they participated Saturday in the traditional day long celebration for that town by dancing around the maypole. Included in the festivities were ball games, tug-of-war games, afternoon dances for the young people and a community dance in the evening.
Picture Caption: May Day Queen for the Mendon City celebration was Cindy Larsen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Leland W. Larsen. Her consort for the day, shown above placing the flowered crown upon her head, was Kevin Barrett, son of Mr. and Mrs. Stanton Barrett.