Tredyffrin Easttown Historical Society
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Source: April 1984 Volume 22 Number 2, Page 72

A May-Day Festival

from the American Republican

Page 72

A delightful festival, got up somewhat in the style of the Maying frolics of ancient times, took place at the country seat of Mr. Biddle, near Paoli in Chester County. A son of that gentleman, who is a Director to the Locust Street Public School, invited the female pupils and teachers of that institution, and the Board of Directors, to a grand fete champetre at the spot referred to. About three hundred females availed themselves of the invitation, and the offer of free passage to the West Chester cars. Each took with her a basket containing such substantial refreshments as would be needed during the day. Mr. Biddle had lots of milk brought upon the grounds, and every arrangement was made to insure the comfort and enjoyments of the guests.

The party had elected their May Queen before leaving the city, and upon the arrival at the scene of their frolic, her majesty was installed in due form upon a rustic throne prepared for her reception. The young miss, upon whose brow the crown of royalty was placed, bore her blushing honors with becoming dignity and maintained her state gracefully. When she visited her subjects to witness their rustic sports, to see that the dance around the May pole was conducted according to orthodox maying rules, and to support the general condition of her realm, she mounted a car of state, attended by her maids of honor, and was drawn in regal style by a Shetland pony. The getting up of the festival would have done credit to the times of Queen Bess. After spending the day in feasting, dancing and singing, and in the enjoyment of rustic games, the party returned to the city in the evening, delighted with the day's pleasures. ...


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