Mayfest Then & Now

05/13/2017 - 6:00am to 10:00am
928 Raymond Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55114
History Mayfest Plant Sale Event Local Live Music Food Outdoor Festival

May the Circle be Unbroken

One of the interesting things about change is that it creates an opportunity for reflection. What will be kept, what will be let go, what will be reclaimed? For this year’s celebration, we are excited to reclaim some of that Mayfest energy of old. This annual event is one that heralds spring for the co-op.

As I have learned in my time here, this event has an evolving history with roots beginning somewhere in the mid to late 80s. I have had members and staff tell me stories of when Mayfest was THE EVENT in the neighborhood, with plants, tons of food, and a dance hosted upstairs in what is now the Aikido space. As time passed and staff changed, the event shrunk its footprint into a more reserved and low key plant sale that lasted through the end of June.

This year we still have plants – and on Friday, May 12th, Dina Kountoupes, who owns the local business Harvest Moon Edible Landscapes, will be here from noon to 2:00 to share her expertise and give great advice on how to make your own landscape tastier.

Then we roll into Saturday, May 13th – starting at 11:00 a.m. with beer from Urban Growler and food from Foxy Falafel – all made less than a mile from our storefront. We will showcase some amazing local talent – Pop Wagner will be playing with Adam Granger and Anni Spring – better known as the Hampden Rounders. Our first flier featuring Pop playing at HPC dates from 1981!

Additionally, our eclectic music line up includes our good friend, Dawn Tanner, singing her sweet tunes, rollicking clogging with Pomp and CircumStomp, and some electronica from Bos/Castagna. We’re happy to have back Terrell “Carnage the Executioner” Woods. Terrell grew up in the Midway neighborhood and performed here at HPC as part of our Holiday Event last December. Terrell’s beat box and looping skills are legendary and he has toured all over the US and Europe. And we are excited to welcome Omaur Bliss, who has been part of the local hip-hop scene in the Twin Cities for almost two decades. Omaur is also our neighbor and lives on University, less than five minutes from the co-op, and will be the closing act on Saturday. We are truly blessed to have such huge talent in our midst.

Plus we will have face painting, tons of demos and we round it out by making it a zero waste event. Thanks in large part to an $8,000 grant we received earlier this spring from BizRecyling (a joint venture of Ramsey and Washington County Recycling and Energy Board), we now have a full compost and combined recycling program here at the co-op.

Sunday the 14th we will have a rare Sunday treat for Mother’s Day (we typically only offer special menu options Monday through Friday). And, beautiful hanging baskets and cards for the last minute Mother’s Day purchase (we see you, and we are here for you!).

I like to think of May as a time of new beginnings – the ground thaws and the world renews its work of visible growth. This is the hope I have for Hampden Park Co-op as well. We have a moment to embrace the history that has brought us here and to celebrate together the community we are building into the future. We hope to see you at Mayfest!

By Christina Nicholson, General Manager