PHOTOS: Magic in doubt as sun makes reluctant Mayday appearance


Was the morris magic working? It was hard to tell.

The morris dancing was supposed to bring up the sun. That’s what the dancers claimed, anyway. But, long past the predicted sunrise moment, the sky remained dark and instead of sunbeams on the horizon, there was only a slightly brighter gray spot. Even after a song sung en mass “to welcome in the summer, to welcome in the May-oh!”

After 30 minutes or so, however, even the most skeptical admitted that the sky was lighter, probably due to the sun shining somewhere above the heavy cloud cover.

And so, another Takoma Park Mayday dawn dance achieved its goal – the morris dancers greeted the first dawn of May – the beginning of summer back in agrarian England, where morris dance originated about five centuries ago.

The Takoma Park Mayday tradition doesn’t seem that old by comparison, but three decades is pretty respectable for modern-day Takoma Park. The Foggy Bottom Morris Men and the Rock Creek Morris Women have been upholding that tradition at least that long. This year they were joined by the Arlington Northwest Morris – a “clog” morris group.

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About the Author

Bill Brown
Bill Brown moved to Takoma Park in 1982. He has been involved in journalism in one way or another since he co-published an underground high-school newspaper in the late 1960s.