This year to celebrate May Day, our dear friend Ruthette decided to put on a May Day Puppet Parade with the children from the Three Lakes Academy (TLA). This was done through another MCACA grant that the Erickson Center for the Arts wrote.
Ruthette, and many helpers (including Will) dedicated much time starting in November assembling materials, coming up with ideas, and working with the kids on puppets, masks, scripts and songs. Their efforts culminated in the May Day parade which started at the school and ended up just a mile down the road at the Erickson Center. I was also able to be in the parade as a banner bearer. The theme for the parade was "Water"; which is also the theme for TLA's 2012 school year. We are a town surrounded by water (the Manistique Lakes), on a peninsula surrounded by the Great Lakes so it is a fitting tribute.
I was not in a great photo taking spot so I apologize in advance!
There were two blue wavy banners that emulated water and all of the K-1st Graders were dressed as water loving animals. There were also trees and flowers that were acted out by the 2nd and 3rd graders. Everyone was happy so the story goes, until humans induced threats to the ecosystem (dirty factories, garbage and pollution) that were also acted out by the kids. The animals left and the plants died.
Enter Michu Pichu, the great water spirit of Lake Superior and guardian of the Lake, who warned the humans of their ignorance and disdain for the environment
(I didn't get a photo of this awesome three person puppet!).
Now, as this story is being acted out, our friend Kathy (Master of Ceremonies) is narrating the story. She did an awesome job of moving the story along. There was a two man band in the background playing some awesome tunes to go along with the performance. They did a great job tying it all together.
The story ends with humanity cleaning up their factories, picking up the garbage, and cleaning up their act altogether. The animals and plants return, and mother earth is raised up upon her nest on the May pole.
This was challenging because the earth was a huge blow up gym ball which had to be put up with poles and a hula hoop and the wind was pretty lively!
The seventh graders saved the day however...
and the performace ended with the entire school circling the May Pole to the band playing/singing
"This Pretty Planet".
It was awesome.
Four months of work was over in about thirty minutes! They had a great community turn out as well.
You can't have a parade without at least one bunny. This young lady is a student at MTU in Houghton- She was home for the weekend and brought "Jingle" with her. Jingle is an agouti colored English Angora that came from one of our litters two years ago. She is a spoiled house rabbit that gets dressed in doll clothes. If you look closely, you'll see she has a wee ponytail on top of her head.