BEST FESTIVAL Minneapolis 2006 - MayDay Parade and Festival
It's hardly a news flash that too many festivals have been overrun by corporations and politicians. With endless product booths and glad-handing candidates, many a "festival" contains the ambiance of a crass, straining-to-be-joyful exercise in marketing. Not so the MayDay Parade and Festival. This annual pagan celebration of workers, nature, and winter's end remains delightfully odd and over-the-top. Loosely organized by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater, it recruits a delightfully unclassifiable throng to Powderhorn Park on the first Sunday in May. Among this human potpourri are jug bands and jugglers, fire-eaters, and giant, papier-mâché puppets, with giddy, pop-eyed kids ogling from the sidelines. There are even going to be a few stray politicians, sporting permanent smiles that are among the scariest masks of the day.