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Under A New Name, Lausanne Continues Many Traditions Of May Day Festivities

ArtsFest/SportsFest is a yearly tradition at Lausanne that includes a day of activities, friends, sports, arts and fun. It is a way to welcome the arrival of Spring and celebrate the closing of another school year. But did you know that before ArtsFest/SportsFest was a thing, there was another Spring tradition on the Lausanne campus? 

For 18 years, Lausanne students would celebrate May 1 with the all-day event May Day. 

"It would start early in the day with students, parents and others gathering on the North Lawn in anticipation of the new May Day Queen and her court marching in," Lausanne Collegiate School archivist Cissi Loftis said. "There would be music playing, a choir singing and each elementary class doing something special to entertain the crowd."

The Headmaster would then greet the Queen and her court and crown the queen to signal the event to start. 

The last event performed was the Maypole Dance. A ceremonial folk dance, performed by Upper School Princess. Afterward, the Queen and her court would march out ending the event. 

"The May Day Queen was also Miss Lausanne most times," Loftis said. 

Although it now goes by a new name, many of the traditions of May Day continue during ArtsFest/SportsFest. The Lausanne community still comes together for fun on the fields and singing can still be heard in the Elder Performing Arts Center (EPAC) on that day. 

Photos from May Day and all things related to the history of Lausanne can be found in the Lausanne Archives, or online at lausanneschool.com/archives