May 2012 Events Around the Valley of the Sun – Arizona
May introduces you to Summertime; givning way to green rolling grasses and your full bloomed flowers bringing sweet aromas to the air. This is the time of year when you slip into something more comfortable . . . your flip flops. It’s also the time to get out your garden gloves for for a season of pulling weeds and planting hardy foliage to last through the summer while the winds pick up and become perfect for taking the whole family for Kite flying, an almost forgotten summer tradition. The now days have become longer and it’s just a little bit warmer, making our pools seem a little more inviting. Along with that, school is nearing its end for students and everyone is just itching for things to do around our sun state. Well, the following are events for everyone to participate in and enjoy no matter what your age might be.
May Day – May 1, 2012 (Worldwide)
HAPPY MAY DAY!!
Today is May Day! This day was a traditional holiday in many pre-Christian European Cultures and is celebrated on the 1st of May, making it the first day of summer celebration and a celebration of nature and the environment. May Day has been a traditional day of festivities throughout the centuries, similar to today’s Earth Day. Most May Day traditions begin with you waking to see the sunrise and enjoy the days festivities of a street carnival, ancient folk music and dancing madrigal singing performed mostly by woman, food and of course the decorating and dancing around the Maypole. In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary’s month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary’s head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning. The May Day Celebrations were abolished and its celebration banned by puritan parliaments during the Interregnum, but reinstated with the restoration of Charles II in 1660. The celebration of dancing around the maypole has been a tradition Worldwide to celebrate the on set of May, which dates back to ancient days before the birth of Christ. History states that the Maypole, itself, has an ancient Druid connection that suffered a setback for a few decades, but returned when the Puritans lost power in England around 1644.
Trees have been linked to the celebration of May Day. In ancient Europe, trees have always been the symbol of the great vitality and fertility of nature and were often used to be turned into the Maypole. So the history of May Day (May 1st) begins with the Maypole. A Maypole is wooden pole, or most usually, a tree selected by village people from a near by forest in the early dawn. The tree was cut down and the limbs are cut off. The bringing of the Maypole from the woods to town was a grand occasion with trumpets blowing and drums playing. The Maypole was then decorated with a colorful sort of ribbons attached at the top along with many flowers. The pole is sometimes painted or left natural.By the Middle Ages almost every English village had a Maypole to celebrate the coming of Spring. In London, the Maypole was set up permanently. Trees have also always been celebrated in ancient Europe as a symbol of wisdom and strength.
Once the ribbons are attached at the top of the maypole, girls and boys, in spring dress, would grab an end of the long ribbon and begin skipping and dancing around the Maypole in opposite directions. This causes the ribbon to get shorter and shorter, intertwining the ribbon into a weave pattern. The music that was played in earlier Maypole celebration times was Celtic music with lots of flute playing.
For some, the celebration of the Maypole represents an ancient New Year ritual, for others, like the Romans, it was primarily to worship the goddess of flowers, Flora. In France, the Maypole name was changed to “Tree of Liberty” and is the symbol of French Revolution. Still, for others the decorated Maypole represented ancient fertility rights and May Day reminds us of being a part of nature. During the May Day celebration a may Queen is chosen for the day to represent purity and love of nature.
For awhile, just the idea of the Maypole and maypole dancing is all that was left from the celebration for the coming of summer and the renewing of the new year from the old ancient European traditions. Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of “May baskets,” small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors’ doorsteps. Now in more modern times in some states in the U.S., the Maypole is a part of joy and merriment for children and families to dance around it holding its attached ribbons accompanied by much music and food usually in the month of May. May Day Celebrating has now just recently come back in the U.S. For more historical information on May Day visit http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_Day
Cinco de Mayo Festival – Saturday, May 5, 2012 – Sunday, May 6, 2012/ Downtown Phoenix
The largest Cinco de Mayo festival in Phoenix is celebrating its 19th annual two day multicultural festival with live Latin musical performers such as, Latin Breed and WAR, family entertainment and of course authentic Mexican food. This event runs from 2pm to midnight on Saturday and from 12pm to 10pm on Sunday and is located 200 EVB at 2nd Street and Van Buren in Downtown Phoenix. There is a charge of $5 per adult for entry. For more information call 602-279-4669.
Cinco de Mayo Celebration – Saturday, May 5, 2012 / Sedona
Sedona not only will be displaying color of its own with the surrounding color of red but, a Latino color display will also be the theme this weekend for this one day free celebration at the Tlaquepaque Village. You will enjoy the harmonic voices of mariachi musicians and might just get the urge to jump right in with the folkloric dancers as there heal stepping and Spanish clapping becomes almost contagious. Taste some traditional Spanish style foods or sip on a cool refreshing margarita while enjoying watching the face painters. Want your child to test out their swing on a Pinata. For more information visit www.Tlaqauepaquearts&craftsvillage.com.
For more locations and times of Cinco de Mayo events visit http://phoenix.about.com/od/events/cincodemayo.htm
Annual Recycled Art Exhibition – Now through May 12, 2012 / Flagstaff
This exhibition give a new name to trash. One mans trash is another mans treasured art! This Recycled Art Exhibition is organized every year and this year represents their 10th annual event in 2012 hosted at the at the Coconino Center for the Arts. All the artwork in the show must contain at least 80 percent recycled or reused materials. The hours of this exhibition are the same as the Gallery hours; from 11 am to 5 pm and held on Saturdays, April 14, 21, 28 and May 5 and 12 located at 2300 N. Fort Valley Road. for more exhibition information call 928-286-9088 or visit http://tinyurl.com/7ydouwf.
Full Moon Night Hike – Saturday, May 5, 2012 / Mesa
Like to take mid-night strolls by yourself or a loved one? How about a stroll by moon light. You can come along to Usery Mountain Regional Park and join in for a short 2-mile night hike under May’s “Full Flower Moon.” The light of the full moon you a fantastic experience of new sights of wildlife and to listen to the sounds of the desert! Maybe there will be coyotes singing their serenades to their mother moon or the hooting of the owl greeting you into their back yard so, get ready for adventure during this hike with our park ranger, Ranger B. make sure to bring water to drink, a flashlight, hiking or walking shoes. No pets this time, please. This walk is at the Trail Staging Area or Usery Mountain Regional Park, located at 3939 N. Usery Pass Rd. For more information call 480-984-0032.
“Mother’s Day Wines” at Vino 100 – Friday, May 11, 2012 / Cave Creek
Wining is OK on this mothers day! Join the fun with mom at Vino 100 located at 30835 N. Cave Creek Road from 6pm – 8pm. All you moms out there can relax this evening and sit back to take some time for your selves with a glass of wine while listening to live music by Dan Emrey along with some jazz, a little bit of classic rock and folk music. In honor of you to start out your Mother’s Day weekend spoiling yourself. All moms can participate in a wine tasting for half price at $5 and it you choose to do so, take home a bottle of wine with a special label made just for you mom for $14 to remember this occasion. Cheese trays are also available for half price at $6-$8 each. For more information call 480-502-8466.
Reid Park Zoo Mother’s Day Fiesta – Sunday, May 13, 2012 /Tucson, Arizona
Want to get “mom” out of the house away from laundry, bill paying and stress then take her outdoors for a little bit of calm. Join the “animalistic” fun at Reid Park Zoo located at 1100 S. Randolph Way, for an outdoor adventure with mom. While listening to the sounds of the wild in the background, you can enjoy time out with mom for a special Mother’s Day evening with an enticing deluxe Mexican buffet, invigorating Mariachi music, face painting for the kid in you, crafts and games for the kids and and a chance to meet with the zoos animal ambassadors. All the moms will have the unique opportunity to feed the giraffes and each mom will receive a free family photo and a chance to win one of several door prizes. This event runs fro 5:00 pm until 7:30 pm. For more information and ticket pricing, call 520.881.4753.
For more 2012 Mother’s Day events visit http://tinyurl.com/86hhc82
Desert Botanical Garden’s Birds in the Garden – Every Monday in May / Phoenix
Take a strol through the garden and join expert birders for a morning bird walk along the trails at the Desert Botanical Garden located on 1201 North Galvin Parkway each Monday moring at 7 am. Everyone, including first-time birdwatchers, are welcome. Wear a hat and sunscreen. Comfortable walking shoes are suggested. Don’t forget to bring binoculars and a camera on this outing. This activity is included in the regular admission fee. For more events at the Desert Botanical visit http://phoenix.about.com/od/attractionsandevents/tp/DBG.htm
(Events updated weekly)
Lisa Racz – Your local Arizona event writer