MayDay Parade & Celebration: The Annual Spring Greeting in Minneapolis

A group of Minneapolis artists and businesses have picked up the MayDay Parade torch and are running with it on Sunday, May 7, 2023! In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre (HOBT) began hosting the MayDay Parade and Festival in the 1970s. During the last several years, both HOBT and the world have gone through immense changes and we weren’t sure if the MayDay Parade would survive these changes. But a group of community arts organizations have come together to revive the parade and celebration. Art Cars/Art Bikes, Battle Train, Stilt Walker and Cardboard Camp artists have joined together to bring the parade in 2023.

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Latest MayDay Festival News

Community members, including families with children can bring their own materials and join ArtCars, ArtBikes and Wearable Contraptions (who bring us the annual ArtCar Parade), Southside Battletrain (a group of sculpture artists in South Minneapolis), Stilt Walkers and Adventures in Cardboard in Open Workshops to build parade floats.  Adventures in Cardboard is located at 4501 Hiawatha Ave in Minneapolis.

  • Sunday, April 30, 10am-3pm
  • Monday, May 1, 7-9pm
  • Tuesday, May 2 7-9pm
  • Wednesday, May 3 7-9pm
  • Thursday, May 4 7-9pm
  • Friday, May 5 7-9pm
  • Saturday, May 6 10am-3pm

Parade Day is Sunday, May 7, 2023, and the schedule is as follows:

  • 11am: Line up at Bloomington Avenue and 28th Street, Minneapolis
  • 12 Noon: Parade begins South down Bloomington to Powderhorn Park, Minneapolis.
  • 2pm: Parade ends at Powderhorn Park.
  • 2pm: We are told there will also be a kids parade & Dance Party beginning at 2pm.
  • 3pm: The Tree of Life Ceremony will begin with the Sun crossing the Lake.
  • 4pm – 9pm: Celebration at Reverie Café, 1517 E 35th St, Minneapolis, MN 55407 will include music, food available to purchase, mingling MayDay artist. Learn more here.

What is the MayDay Festival?

If you had read Anne’s Favorite First Year Finds article about 5 things she wanted to make sure she did with her family after her first year with Family Fun Twin Cities, you’ll recall that on the top of her list is the In The Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre’s MayDay Parade.

And if you are like Anne not having made it in the past, then you will want to pay close attention.

The Parade is traditionally the first Sunday of May (unless its rained out, see below) and is followed by a MayDay Ceremony and Festival. Sure the weather is likely to feel like a balmy 40 degrees, and you may not want to venture out without a parka, but if there was ever a time to celebrate spring, I think now is perfect.

Tree of Life at the In the Heart of the Beast May Day Parade and Festival in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Tree of Life – Image courtesy of IHOB.

Changes in 2023

After a couple of years hiatus, In the Heart of the Beast organized a 2022 MayDay Block Party Festival without the parade with family-friendly art activities, food, dancers.  In 2023, local artists have collaborated to bring back the parade and an after-parade celebration will be held at Reverie Vegan Café.

Keep in mind the weather.

If it is rainy, the parade is traditionally postponed. How do I know this? Because the one year we made a point to get to Powderhorn Park for the festival, we were sorely disappointed that it was empty due to the rain and we were unable to make it the next week when they had rescheduled it. If the weather seems iffy, probably the best place to check is the Facebook event page for the after-parade party.

If you go, please leave your pictures and your thoughts on our Facebook page or share them here in the comments. It would be great to know what you thought – especially as the future of this event hangs in the balance.

This article was originally written in 2014 but has been updated with 2023 information. We are adding updated  information as it emerges.

9 thoughts on “MayDay Parade & Celebration: The Annual Spring Greeting in Minneapolis”

    1. Sorry, Barb. Nothing yet. I don’t think IHOB will be involved anymore, and I don’t know that anyone else has taken the lead in organizing future events. I really do hope we find out something earlier than last year.

  1. Please add: May 7th, 2:00pm, kids Mayday noise parade kicks off around the lake at Powderhorn park!

    1. Genevieve: I would be happy to add this. Can you give us more information and a website or Facebook page to link to for more information?

      1. Here’s a link to some info about the kid’s noise parade. Good excuse for people of all ages to make some noise and let out the inner child.

  2. I miss the parade where for decades I had the opportunity as a K-12 teacher to empower students to take the streets, march, sing, shout and dance in so many artistic forms, as led by HOBT. Bring back the parade. PLEASE!!!

    1. We totally agree, Russell. We hope that after HOBT has re-organized they’ll be able to bring back the parade with support of the full community.

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