Sunday, Steve and I went to the May Day parade, put on by The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre. The parade started out with participants from the local Black Label Bike Club, plus many bicyclists simply showed up in the spirit of things.

Then there was an impressive chain link float with shooting flames, a ferris wheel, and skateboarders that was put together by a group of bike riders from South Minneapolis.

After that grand start, came the actual parade of puppets and masks.

I think this puppet is Catholic…
Some parade participants were simply dressed up. Did I say “simply”?

And there were dancers and music.

A big part of the event is about various groups voicing opinions and educating people on issues like GMOs, the use of Drones by the military, legalizing marijuana, raising the minimum wage and so on.

I’d never been to the annual May Day event (this was its 40th year) but if I go back, there will need to be better planning. We really couldn’t see much of the Festivities following the parade. There were just too many seasoned attendees who had marked out their spaces with blankets well ahead of time.

Speaking of seasoned attendees…  with so many bright, festive colors around me, and greetings of “Happy May Day!” it truly felt like a welcoming of warmer days to come. In fact, it was the nicest day we’ve seen for awhile.

I used to have a few puppets when I was a kid. Once, when I was sick with the measles, my Mom took a red pencil and marked my clown puppet with red dots so I had a companion to share my pain. The clown was kind of skinny and sad, like me. I didn’t like him much.

I preferred my dragon puppet, who was red, had big teeth, and looked fierce. Not quite as fierce as this guy, but close…

Happy May Day everyone!

Nowthen Threshing Show
Can’t be beat
In the Master Gardener Booth
So many people to greet

I’m supposed to answer questions
But I learn more than I teach
Surrounded by seasoned gardeners
Who practice what they preach

My favorite thing
Seeing developing Monarchs
But they’re in danger, like the bees
We need to change our ways now
I’m begging everyone, please

So many tractors and farmers
Traditions and history
From field to our tables
The work is darn right blistery

Always attracted to old things
Shiny chrome or flaking rust
One depicts consistent, loving care
The other, an enduring tough crust

I’ve covered quite a bit here
Not sure if it all fit or not
It’s the challenge of writing bad poetry
A skill that cannot be taught

For more information about Monarch butterflies and how to help them, please visit these websites:
If you plant a bee or butterfly garden, be careful about your plant selection. There’s a great deal of disagreement about how much neonicotinoids are effecting bees and butterflies, but why take a chance? The safest way to avoid unwanted pesticides is to buy organic seeds and start your own seedlings. If you buy seedlings, ask if they’ve been treated with pesticides. If nothing else, asking the question will start forcing growers to realize that people are concerned and want untreated plants.

Minnesota State Fair
Time to harvest the fields
To many of us
Eating is a pretty big deal 
For now there is fun
Before school has begun
So let’s joyfully swing 
To and fro
Many come for the food
Some come for the rides
Some teens come looking for love
I remember those times…
Now I come to hear music
Such a variety of bands
And I pause as always
As nature takes me by the hands
Bees and plants catch my eye
Moving, splashing water too
But then a parade rounds the bend
With many floats that go moo

Not like the Macy parade
Oh, no not a bit
But with this Minnesota crowd
It’s still quite a hit

(You have your super heroes, we have ours…)

(Was Smokey always this out of shape?)

(Only in Minnesota is a snowplow part of a parade)
A caramel sundae for breakfast
A Greek wrap for lunch
A micro brew to cool off
It all packs quite a punch
When the crowds overwhelm me
It’s time to head out
But I’ll be back next year
Without a doubt
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