The Barron Park Association

May Fete


The May Fetes, celebrated each year in Bol Park, are neighborhood parties for families and friends following a tradition started by Paul Edwards in May, 1978.

For the past several years, the event has been overseen by BPA Board Member John King. And again this year the Board hired Sarah Van Zanten, a young and enthusiastic person from a nearby Palo Alto neighborhood, as event planner to organize the days activities and to prepare the venue. If you are interested in participating in organizing the event, or have some suggestions for activities for next year’s May Fete, contact John by email. We need more volunteers and we are always open to new ideas.

The main ‘event’  this year, as is always the case, was the dance around a Maypole, as illustrated in the above photo in the website header. Young and old residents, assisted by costumed Mad Molly dancers, hold colorful ribbons and then prance around the pole to music. As in past years, lively music for the Maypole dancing and also for sing-alongs during the afternoon’s festivities was provided by our multi-talented Barron Park musician Gary Breitbard and the French country music group, Les Campagnards. Larry Breed prepared the Maypole, something that he has also done for a number of years, attaching multiple ribbons to it and placing a large and lovely bouquet of flowers at its peak.

The May Fete event was publicized throughout the neighborhood by postcards and posters all bearing a festive design of a bouquet of flowers drawn by Barron Park artist Susan Breitbard.

May Fete poster drawn by Barron Park artist Susan Breitbard

John King donned a chef’s hat and grilled hamburgers and hotdogs for all comers. Tickets were sold to residents to purchase the food, cold drinks and also for kids to play in an inflatable bumpy house. Sarah and other teenagers kept the young children busy and amused with many games, face painting and other activities.

Doug Graham brought his informative, multi-arm display of Barron Park history posters, which drew the interest of many, especially newcomers to the neighborhood. A number of community groups were on hand to provide information on their activities (BP Green Team, Palo Alto History Association) and a Search and Rescue Dog team brought some very intelligent and highly trained canines and put them through their paces to an astonished audience.