Northern Lights School Mayfaire at the Adirondack Carousel

By Diane Chase
It was a long winter, though I did enjoy every minute of it. My family was able to ski, snowshoe and skate through most of those cold winter months. As Chaucer wrote, “…all things have an end,” so there goes winter in the Adirondacks leaving us to celebrate spring with all its most delightful changes.

It is easy to let the seasonal changes go by without appropriate fanfare. When blackflies start biting or mud washes out our favorite trails, we want to remember the flower buds, robins and rock-hopping adventures rather than focus on the negative. One annual event that emphasizes the change of season is the Northern Lights School (NLS) Mayfaire.

For the second year the NLS Mayfaire has joined forces with the Adirondack Carousel in Saranac Lake for its May 31st (11:00 am – 3:00 pm) celebration of spring. The schedule is set for an afternoon of community art, nature crafts, and live music. Green Goddess Natural Foods will have an array of their wonderful food available for purchase. When my children were younger they always looked forward to the puppet show and maypole dance.

There are many ancient customs that have featured a maypole dance from spring planting rituals to summer solstice celebrations. The ceremonial folk dance features a tall pole draped with greenery, flowers and long ribbons. Each dancer grasps a ribbon and follows one another around the ceremonial tree, weaving a colorful expression of spring. Flower crowns and wands have also been used to foster the Mayfaire dance’s grand salute to the end of a long winter and to rejoice in the change of season. Anyone is welcome to join the nursery and kindergarten classes as they dance around the maypole.

The event kicks off at 11 am with plenty of time to enjoy carousel rides, the outside play area, visit farm animals and participate at the craft tables. Take part in the Silent Auction and find generous items donated from area businesses and individuals around the Tri-Lakes area. Maypole dancing will follow the noon puppet show of  “Masha and the Bear.”  The rest of the afternoon will be dancing of a different kind with local band “County Line” and its unique blend of folk, bluegrass and rock. Admission is $4 for adults, $2 for children with a $10 family rate. Each child admission includes one carousel ride. Enjoy spring!  

Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™: Your Four-Season guide to over 300 activities for the Tri-Lakes and High Peaks. For more family-friendly activities go to
 © Diane Chase is the author of the Adirondack Family Activities™ guidebook series, Adirondack Family Time™, which is available online or bookstores/museums/sporting good stores. Diane is currently working on the third guidebook in the four-book series of Adirondack Family Activities™.


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