Montgomery hosts annual May Day festival

KEYC News Now at 10 Recording
Published: May. 1, 2022 at 8:50 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) -Heritage came alive as Montgomery celebrated May Day.

Each year a traditional Czech May Day celebration is held in Montgomery, and this year was no different.

The event involves the raising of the traditional “May Pole.”

“Well the May Pole was kind of a rite of passage for Spring. People were anxious to get Spring going and, which we are right now too, trying to get Spring going. And so it’s just a, kind of a ritual before Spring starts,” said organizer Jim Mladek.

The event typically happens outdoors, but inclement weather made the event move inside.

Revival and the Rustic Farmer, a shared space owned by a member of the Czech community, took the reins hosting the now-indoor event. Both spaces are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.

“We had great representation from the actual organizations as well, as well as the attendees. So we feel very happy about what happened here today even though we couldn’t be outside, we feel the attendance was even greater than what it would have been if we would have been outside,” said venue owner Julie Bifano.

Montgomery has one of Minnesota’s largest Czech populations per capita, according to the most recent Census.

The celebration delivered lessons on Czech history, and celebrates what makes the community unique.

“You know we’re all kind of connected, going, you know, back 200 years. So I think that’s why people like the idea of renewing their heritage and some of the celebrations that they’ve done in the past, and it’s just, you know, to kind of keep it going,” Mladek said.

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