Mendon May Day— 1989
Mendon City Council Meeting— Paula Watkins reported on May Day. Karen Hansen will serve as chairman with Carolyn Baker serving as co-chair. The need to find a replacement for T. Kay Sorensen, our “Mr. May Day,” was also brought up with Richard Watkins name being suggested as a replacement. April 15th, 22nd and 29th will be set aside for clean- up days in town.
Ward Bulletin Announcement: Maypole Dance Practice— All girls in grades first through fifth, are invited to participate in braiding Mendon’s annual maypole on May 6th. Practices will be Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school beginning on April 3rd. It is very important for everyone to be there for the first few practices to put you with a partner. Invite your inactive or non-member neighbors to participate. A meeting for mothers with dress information will be on April 9th, after the block meeting.
Mendon To Host May Day Events— Mendon will celebrate its traditional May Day Friday and Saturday. A dance will be held at 8:00 p.m. Friday in the Mendon LDS ward, 20 North 100 West, Mendon, with music furnished by Guy Bartholomew. The floor show will begin at 10:00 p.m., provided by a group of international students attending Utah State University. Cost will be $1.50 per person or $5.00 per family. Everyone age twelve and older is invited; refreshments will be served. Crowning of the May Day queen, Penny Woodbrey, seventeen, daughter of Vean and Tonya Woodbrey of Petersboro, will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday on the city square. The braiding of the maypole by fifty-eight grade-school-aged girls will follow the crowning. A program will then be held in the church. The Mendon Arts Council will sponsor an art show and bake sale from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the city building. Afternoon activities include Cache Valley Soccer League games at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. There will also be volleyball, horseshoes, races, basketball, jump rope, hopscotch, Frisbee, and a heritage fireside at 3:00 p.m. An alumni maypole dance will be at 2:30 p.m. Anyone who has braided the maypole in the past is invited to participate. A family-oriented softball game is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. on the ball diamond and the commercial softball game begins at 6:00 p.m. Food will be available at the food stand beginning at noon until 7:30 p.m.
Mendon To Hold Annual May Day— Mendon will celebrate its traditional May Day Friday and Saturday. A dance will be held at 8:30 p.m. Friday in the Mendon LDS ward, 20 North 100 West, Mendon, with music furnished by Guy Bartholomew. The floor show will begin at 10:00 p.m., provided by a group of International Students attending Utah State University. Cost will be $1.50 per person or $5.00 per family. Everyone age twelve and older is invited; refreshments will be served, according to a news release. Crowning of the May Day queen, Penny Woodbrey, seventeen, daughter of Vean and Tonya Woodbrey of Petersboro, will begin at 10:00 a.m. Saturday on the city square. The traditional braiding of the maypole by fifty-eight grade-school-aged girls will follow the crowning. A program will then be held in the church. The Mendon Arts Council will sponsor an art show and bake sale from 11:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. in the city building. Afternoon activities on [the] town square include Cache Valley Soccer League games at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. Beginning at 2:00 p.m. will be horseshoes, races, jump rope competition, family softball, volleyball, basketball and Frisbee activities all held on the square. A heritage fireside is scheduled in the church building at 3:00 p.m. An alumni maypole dance will be at 2:30 p.m. and at 4:00 p.m., a dance is scheduled for children up to age eleven in the city building. A commercial softball game will begin at 6:00 p.m. Food will be available at the food stand on Saturday from noon until 7:30 p.m. May Day celebrations were a common spring celebration in most communities during the early settlement of Cache Valley. Mendon was settled in 1859 and the May Day celebration has been continuous since 1864, said the news release.
In Mendon’ May Day— Activities today, crowning of the May Day queen, Penny Woodbrey, seventeen, daughter of Vean and Tonya Woodbrey of Petersboro, will be held at the city square at 10:00 a.m. This will be followed by the braiding of the maypole. An art show and bake sale runs from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the city building. Other activities include soccer games, volleyball, horseshoes, races, basketball, jump rope, hopscotch and Frisbee. There will be a heritage fireside at 3:00 p.m. An alumni maypole dance will be held at 2:30 p.m. for anyone who has braided the maypole in past years. A family softball game is scheduled at 2:00 p.m. on the ball diamond and a commercial softball game follows at 6:00 p.m.
Mendon’s May Day, 125-Year-Old Tradition Unites Cache Community— The crowning of a May Day queen, games, an art show, singing and dancing rounded out Mendon’s annual May Day celebration, a tradition going back more that 125 years, last weekend. “It is one celebration that brings everybody in the community together,” said Mayor Ross Shelton. “All of our citizens come back and renew their friendship. There was a day when Mendon forgot to vote, but it has never forgotten to celebrate the May Day.” “In May Day, everybody comes home,” echoed Maxine Sorensen, who also narrated the history of May Day celebrations. Sorensen, nicknamed “Mrs. May Day” in recognition of her husband, T. Kay Sorensen, who for fifty-one years played a major role in May Day activities, observed that the celebrations are to welcome the springtime. The peak of this two-day event, which started Friday night, was a three-hour ceremony crowning Penny Woodbrey as the 1989 May Day queen on Saturday at Mendon LDS Ward. Woodbrey, seventeen, a junior at Mountain Crest High School in Hyrum, said she was “excited” about her selection. In other activities, Robert and Karen DeGasser won a plaque for the most beautiful home, besting the other twenty-five entrants to take first place. “We were judging for landscaping, cleanliness, beauty and color and they were the only ones who got excellent,” said Joseph Richards, a May Day committee member. The crowd stood on its toes when fifty-eight grade-school-aged girls performed the traditional maypole dance. The dancers started to practice for the celebration beginning April 1st, said Claudia Larsen, a committee member. In the afternoon, local artists and bakers displayed and sold their wares. Soccer, volleyball and softball games competed for browsers’ attentions. Mendon’s May Day celebration is a community event and has nothing to do with International May Day, the workers’ festival. Picture Caption: Heidi Nelson, twelve? boogies at the Friday night dance. Picture Caption: A braided May Day pole.
Picture Caption: Maypole Dance— Blue skies were on hand for the maypole dance, a traditional part of Mendon’s May Day. The weather cooperated and provided blue skies and sunshine for the annual town celebration.
Picture Caption: The maypole dance was the feature attraction of the celebration.
Weather— The excitement in the air can only mean one thing. Just four more shopping days till Mendon’s May Day celebration. Today is really just a practice holiday…
Picture Caption: Saturday’s weather cooperated with the festivities.
Mendon May Day Handout: May Day’s Coming— May 5th at 8:30 p.m. May Day dance. “Springtime Around The World” Floor show at 10:00 p.m. by the International Dance Students of Utah State University For ages twelve and older, refreshments. Cost $5.00 per family or $1.50 per person. May 6th 10:00 a.m. Morning Events: Crowning of the May queen and dancing of the Maypole. 1989 May Day queen is Penny Woodbrey. Program in the chapel following the braiding of the maypole. May 6th 1:00 p.m. Afternoon Activities: 1:00 a.m. Soccer games, *Tree planting (*Mendon City will replace the “family” trees which didn’t make it. If you missed donating trees for the square two years ago and desire to do so now contact Dennis Obray.) 2:00 p.m. Races and games for kids of all ages. Heritage Fireside. Baked goods sale. 2:30 p.m. Alumni maypole frolic. 3:00 p.m. Family softball. 4:00 p.m. “The Bunny Hop” children’s dance for children to age eleven. 6:00 p.m. Commercial softball game. noon to 7:30 p.m. food stand will be open. Thanks to our May Day Committee, chaired this year by Karen Hansen and co-chaired by Carolyn Baker!
Printed May Day Program: Mendon May Day, May 6th, 1989, 10:00 a.m. Queen’s Court: May queen, Penny Woodbrey; Consort, Greg Schroeder; Flower Girl, Kristi Woodbrey; Crown Bearer, Cody Woodbrey. Maids of Honor with Escorts: Krecia Banham with Brian Petersen, Tacy Buxton with Matthew Whoolery, Jenniffer Fryer with Jason Christensen, Alison Clark with Jesse Heers, Krista Burlile with Robert Hopkins, Tiffany McIntire with Jason Nye, Jenni Lynn Lemon with Chris Owens, Trina Clemensen with Tim Watkins, Toni Larsen with Eric Myers. Maypole Dance Instructors: Barbara Obray, Carolyn Krebs, Karine Cressall, Dixie Miskin and Patricia Taylor. Maypole Dance Accompaniment: Norma Myers. The 54 Maypole Dancers for 1989—
|Christina Kirk||Amy Hardman||Katie Fryer||Nicole Hardman|
|Shannon Lyle||Natasha Schroeder||Rebekah Olsen||Bessie Walbridge|
|Jentry Hudson||Amber Taylor||April Kirk||Valerie Minask|
|Megan Croshaw||Sharilyn Miskin||Tara Croshaw||Amanda Hyer|
|Lorinda Wilcox||Deanna Thompson||Lisa Larsen||Carolyn Cheal|
|Laura Beckstead||Kelly Larsen||Holly Thompson||Cindy Larsen|
|Angela Hofler||Holly Buist||Emily Groll||Jennifer Taylor|
|Katie Willie||Julie Thompson||Maria Taylor||Jenny Lindbloom|
|Sara Kerbs||Amber Eck||Kristine Willie||Joylyn Tanner|
|Robyn Larsen||Jami Olsen||Shanda Hart||Sara Eck|
|Mandy Whoolery||Alissa Bott||Jenny Bowen||Mikenze Bott|
|Emilee Petersen||Melece Hudson||Tonya Mills||Beth Holladay|
|Kandi Woodbrey||Shari Bird||Rachel Kidman||Areel Nye|
|Shayna Buxton||Skye Longhurst|
May Day Program: Introduction of Queen’s Court, Max Baker; song, maypole dancers; opening prayer, Kathryn Shelton; May Day songs, Bishop Richard Watkins; awards presentations: queen’s award, Mayor Ross Shelton, beautification award, Ammon Smart; piano solo, Elisabeth Ann Bowen; vocal duet, Rachel Owens and Katie Krebs; reading Edward Quinlan, song, queen’s court; vocal duet, Shari and Loni Bird; speaker, Maxine Sorensen; piano solo, Melissa Larsen; quartet, Steve Croshaw, Lonn Kirk, Jan Lindbloom and Eldon Bott; closing prayer, Bishop Larry Olsen. Program conducted by Mayor Ross Shelton. Afternoon Activities: Art Show and Bake Sale, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Mendon Arts Council in the City Building [yellow brick schoolhouse]; Cache Valley Soccer League, 1:00 and 2:00 p.m., Sheri and Leon Lemmon; horseshoes, 2:00 p.m., Fred Bowen and Gilbert Petersen; races on the small soccer field, 2:00 p.m., Norma and Lynn Myers; jump rope and hopscotch, 2:00 p.m., Gail Buxton; family softball, 2:00 p.m., Janet and Craig Petersen; alumni maypole, 2:30 p.m., Claudia Larsen and Norma Myers; heritage fireside, 3:00 p.m., Paul Willie; volleyball, 3:00 p.m., Jennilyn Quinlan and Nancy Myers; basketball, 3:00 p.m., Kent Baker and Brian Myers; Frisbee, 3:00 p.m., Wanda and Ed Banham; “Bunny Hop,” 4:00 p.m., dance for children to age eleven, Lance Hardman; commercial softball, 6:00 p.m., Dennis Jensen. The food stand will be open from noon to 7:30 p.m. May Day Committee: Karen Hansen, chair; Carolyn Baker, assistant chair; Joseph Richards, chair, beautification award; June and Fred Bowen, Friday dance; Melinda and Jack Fryer, queen’s court; Claudia Larsen and Norma Myers, maypole dance; Pam and Clyde Leishman, afternoon activities; Mary Jean Campbell and Vicky Doolittle, program; Christene Helpingstine, publicity; Kyle and Reed Yonk, Joanne and Tony Hardman, food stand. And thanks to many more who helped on each committee. Thanks to Dennis Obray for heading the replanting of trees on the town square, and to Guy Bartholmew for the sound system. Community support is what makes Mendon’s May Day a rich tradition.
Mendon Farmer Recalls Early May Day Celebrations— “I guess I’m just a natural born dirt farmer,” Thomas Kay Sorensen said as he sat in the comfortable living room of his home in Mendon. But in the almost eighty years of his life he has done much more than farm, although he is good at that, too. Mendon’s annual “May Day” celebration, held the first Saturday in May, is more than 100 years old. And for fifty years of that time, T. Kay has been its guiding light. In 1938, his father, W. I. (William Isaac) Sorensen, told T. Kay that he had better learn all the May Day music that his grandfather Isaac Sorensen had composed for the annual celebration, because William was not well enough to be in charge that year. Isaac not only wrote the words and music for the songs that are still in use, but trained the singers until just before his death in 1922. His son, William, took over until 1938, when T. Kay inherited the position. “I can’t find the date of the first May Day in grandfather’s diary,” T. Kay said, “although he wrote about almost everything that happened in the town after he arrived in Mendon in 1859. “It was probably in the early 1870’s that the celebration started. At first the town band would march around the town square and all the children would follow them. “Then they started the tradition of choosing a May queen and her court and of dancing the maypole. It hasn’t changed much over the years I have been around. It has just gotten bigger. This year there were eight couples in the queen’s court, and sixty-six little girls danced around the three maypoles.” T. Kay received a plaque in 1988 honoring him for his fifty years with the celebration. This year he conducted one of the songs. “I grew up in an ideal setting,” T. Kay said, “with my grandparents living nearby, with aunts and uncles and cousins in a friendly town with plenty of things for a kid to do.” He started helping his father on the farm when he was still quite young. There were cows to milk and to take to the pasture, and the derrick horse to ride when the hay was stored in the barn. After he graduated from South Cache High School, he worked full time with his father and uncles. “My uncle Joe [Joseph C. Sorensen] wanted me to have as much pleasure as a boy could have growing up on a farm. He would take me with him to his piece of land down on Muddy River, and I would drive one plow or cultivator with a team of horses, following Uncle Joe. We’d get the job done much faster and it was pleasant. At noon we would unhitch the horses to eat and rest while we had lunch. “Joe had a mare named Ginger that just loved the water. When she was unhitched, she would head for the river and plunge in and roll and play, splashing the water and having a great time. I have never seen another horse enjoy the water the way she did.” “When I was older, I worked for Linden K. Wood on the threshing machine. He owned the machine and did much of the threshing on the west side of the valley.” “My job was to fill and drive the water wagon and to haul the coal for the engine. It was hard work, especially when I had to fill the wagon with a bucket out of an irrigation ditch. I worked twelve hours a day for $3.04. It was during the Depression and nobody had much money. I was glad for the job.” When he was thirteen years old, T. Kay had diphtheria and membranous croup, and his heart was affected. “The doctor told me that if I would take care of myself and not overdo or go out for sports that I would grow out of the problem, so I got my fun with the Mendon Dramatic Club. We put on four or five shows a year. What fun we had! I could memorize easily then and loved playing the parts.” “Once Uncle Bert and Vance D. Walker were to fight a duel in one of the shows. Uncle Bert filled a small balloon with red cake coloring and when Vance supposedly stabbed him, Bert pricked the balloon while his back was turned and when he fell on the stage the red began to spread over his white shirt. Some of the in the audience came up over the footlights, thinking he was badly wounded.” “Then there was the weekly movie. A man named Barker came from Newton and set up in the old rock opera house. He jacked up one wheel of his car and attached a belt to the wheel to run the movie projector. They were wonderfully exciting shows, silent pictures then, and always with a segment of a serial. I lived for those shows,” T. Kay said. T. Kay and Maxine Stauffer were married January 29th, 1935. “They were hard times. We had very little money but we made do with what we had or did without.” T. Kay and Maxine have five children, Claudia Jeppesen, River Heights; David, Paradise; Fawn Olsen, Weiser, Idaho; Kristine Groll and Neil, Mendon. They have sixteen grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.