MayDay Parade faces financial pains, is in need of volunteers

MayDay Parade faces financial pains, is in need of volunteers
MayDay photographed by Bruce Silcox

Sandy Spieler, artistic director at In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre and co-founder of the annual MayDay Parade at Powderhorn Park, has posted an update about the event's finances. At one point, the organization was considering the possibility of cancelling the festival altogether. However, this year's 39th annual parade is set to be operating at a 33 percent cost reduction.

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The reasons behind the financial struggles are due in large part to the overall economic downturn in combination with unfortunate weather the event has experienced the past two years. (Last year's parade was delayed by one week due to rain, 2011's event faced cold weather and a few snowflakes.) Spieler further detailed issues through a statement she released to the Daily Planet in late January:

As we crafted our theatre's finances for 2013, our executive director Loren Niemi suggested we not "do MayDay" this year; our budget would not support it. ...What? Not do MayDay?! After much discussion, our Board and staff agreed instead to do MayDay with a budget 33% less than previous years, while making a commitment to build a broader base of public fiscal support for this very public event.

The parade, Spieler speculates, could be covered with help from corporate sponsors, and a $5 contribution from each attendee. Also, due to the diminished budget, MayDay is seeking volunteers and donations. With lower funds comes fewer staff, so there is additional need for community members to help host, organize, and set up the parade this year. The organization is calling for help in a variety of ways, and is open to suggestion as well.

For information on how to help, visit In the Heart of the Beast's official website.

The 39th annual MayDay Parade will be held in the Phillips and Powderhorn neighborhoods in south Minneapolis, culminating with the Tree of Life Ceremony at Powderhorn Park on Sunday, May 5 at 1 p.m.

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Powderhorn Park

3400 15th Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55407


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