Kimberton Waldorf celebrates spring with annual May Faire

Kimberton Waldorf students and community members enjoyed the traditon of dancing around a Maypole at the school's annual May Faire event. Photo by Virginia Lindak

Kimberton Waldorf School held their annual May Faire event last Saturday to celebrate the unfolding spring season. Students, their families and members of the community enjoyed an afternoon of festive activities for all ages.

Standing tall on the front lawn of the campus was the Maypole, adorned with colorful ribbons, as the centerpiece of the event. Many classes took turns performing dances around the Maypole, weaving a beautiful braid of ribbons around it. There were also open dance sessions for anyone to partake in. Student ensembles played live music for each of the different Maypole dances.

Its a coming together of the community to celebrate the blossoming of Spring, said KWS parent Sara Kirby, who has a daughter in the pre-school Rosebud program.

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It gives you a good introduction to the values and the natural energy that Waldorf [education] brings. Its so inviting, so friendly, so easygoing.

There were many fun activities throughout the day for attendees to enjoy, including a puppet show, face painting, hobby horse races, a cake walk and a magic show. The annual toy boat race held in the French Creek was canceled due to the high water level from the weeks storm.

Each class contributed to the event and sold items in a fundraising effort to support the class. Handmade crafts, baked goods, floral arrangements and plants were among items up for sale in the tents set up around the campus grounds. There were also smoothies for sale with proceeds going to support an orphanage in Mexico that was started by a KWS alumnus.

High school Team Leader Deb Merroth-Ahola said the day was for Waldorf families and was also open to the public as an outreach, for anyone interested in learning more about the Waldorf community.

Its a combination of a really wonderful event welcoming spring and also an outreach for the school. Kimberton is the best kept secret in Chester County, said Ahola. We want people to learn about Waldorf education, get to know our community and also know that we have an alternative education to what is out there that is of an amazingly high quality. This is an event that makes it really accessible to the community.

Ahola continued, Mayday really gives you a flavor of what happens. Theres a representation from each of the classes. You have an opportunity to see the campus. Our campus is amazingly beautiful and at no time more than the spring.

Susan Schwaneflugel, the lower school German teacher, said the May Faire held onto age-old traditions of celebrating the seasons.

Its a school-wide festival to welcome in spring and celebrate the changing of the seasons, she said. Its also a chance for the community to come out and meet each other again after that really long winter we had. We try to honor some of the really old traditions like the Maypole, which is from England but in other cultures too. The children practice it in school from 1st through 8th grade. They learn different types of dances. It is really a community celebration.

More information on Kimberton Waldorf School is available at kimberton.org.