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Knutsford Royal May Day Festival


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The annual May celebrations in Knutsford, Cheshire, on the first Saturday in May comprise a spectacular procession led by the Town Crier and including bands, the May Queen and her attendants, morris dancers, Jack-in-the-Green, entertainers, and hundreds of local people in costume. They parade from the old Town Hall out to Knutsford Heath, where the Queen is crowned and the rest of the day is spent with dancing and displays. The custom began in 1864, although it is said that this was a revival rather than an inauguration. A further aspect to the May Day celebrations is the decoration of pavements (especially outside the May Queen's house) with coloured sand (see sanding).

Revd W. Dallow, ‘May Queens’, Strand Magazine (May 1892), 484–8;Shuel, 1985: 34–9;Roy Kerridge, Bizarre Britain (1985), 60–6.


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