One thing that's astonishing to me is that the very first parade had only 12 puppets and a couple accordion players. You would never think, seeing 12 wing nuts and two accordion players, "Oh, I bet this will be something that 50,000 people will watch." It's amazing how great things start out so humbly. I think about Native American ceremonies and rites and stuff, and often it seems like they've been going on since the Stone Age. But a lot of ceremonies are just things people dreamed of or invented recently. I think about the future, seeing my children and other puppeteers' children at May Day: Will they keep it going?
The May Day parade starts Sunday at Bloomington Avenue S. and E. 25th Street in Minneapolis, circa 1:00 p.m.; it takes approximately two hours to make its way to Powderhorn Park (15th Avenue S. and E. 34th Street), where the Tree of Life ceremony is performed. The best views are available north of Lake Street; sidewalks can get very crowded on the last few blocks. For more information, call In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre; (612) 721-2535
Theatre of Wonder: 25 Years In the Heart of the Beast will run June 19 through August 15 at the University of Minnesota's Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, 333 E. River Rd. (Washington Avenue SE and E. River Road), Minneapolis; (612) 625-9494. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday: 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.; Thursday 10:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.; weekends 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays and major holidays. Free.