Home Commentary Mayfest: A Month-Long Celebration of Spring

Mayfest: A Month-Long Celebration of Spring

By Katie Trautz

The arts and culture scene in Montpelier is vibrant year-round, but spring offers much to celebrate. As we close out April’s PoemCity, we celebrate Montpelier’s ode to National Poetry Month, where hundreds of local writers contribute to decorating the town with words and poetry displays. Simultaneously, the Capital City Farmers Market revives, featuring 70 vendors this year.

In addition to celebrating farmers and food (and poetry) here in Vermont, Montpelier has designated a special spring day to celebrate our diverse animal population. Honor the awakening spring with song, dance, and puppet pageantry at the annual All Species Day event on Sunday, May 1, 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Montpelier is known for its community gatherings and events, and All Species Day kicks off the festival season with this family-friendly celebration on the Statehouse lawn. 

Also on May 1 is the Race Against Racism, 9:30 a.m., at Montpelier High School. The Race Against Racism is a state-wide annual anti-racist event, organized by youths from several Vermont high schools. All are welcome to a public rally, curated with a spectacular list of notable speakers, performances, and live music beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Although I am always disappointed when the ski trails turn to mud, this is a sign that bike season is around the corner. The effort of changing out gear and tuning up bikes is like a rite of passage for any Vermonter. Last Saturday, April 23, our downtown bike shop, Onion River Outdoors, hosted the annual Muddy Onion Spring Classic Gravel Grinder to launch the first days of bike season. The annual 36.9-mile gravel ride covered the beautiful dirt roads of central Vermont and eased folks out of winter hibernation. Speaking of bikes, on Saturday, May 7, Onion River Outdoors hosts its annual Bike Swap, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Langdon Street. People flock to this event to find the best used bikes for any type of ride. Getting there early is a must!

Green Up Day also falls on May 7, when volunteers across the state come together for a massive spring clean up of litter. It’s an opportunity to make Montpelier sparkle. 

I recently walked on the trails at North Branch Nature Center, where my toddler was happy sending sticks down the river and watching them swirl in the water. The community garden tools were out, and green tips were coming up. Canadian geese waddled down the path before they took to the sky honking their message of spring. I even picked up a worm and held it out for my little one to hold and giggle and throw back onto the warm ground. This is spring, tumultuous, dramatic, and full of wonder. It’s as if we forget every year and are taken by surprise as the sun sets and the evening wood frogs chime in. But, as I step outside at dusk, I smell the smoke from a nearby grill and hear the voices of children running around without jackets on (even though it’s only 52 degrees out), I remember the hope and serenity a peaceful spring evening can bring.

For a full listing or more information about the many Mayfest events in Montpelier, go to montpelieralive.org/160/Montpelier-Mayfest.

Katie Trautz is the communications coordinator for Montpelier Alive.