Hayfield May Queen parade turns 90

Hayfield May Queen, the new 2016 May Queen on the way to her crowning
Hayfield May Queen, the new 2016 May Queen on the way to her crowning

Hayfield May Queen returns this weekend and there will be extra special celebrations in the village to mark the 90th anniversary of the celebration.

The time-honoured tradition of welcoming spring and crowning the queen dates back to 1928, and to mark the milestone on Saturday visitors can expect a bigger parade with some new modern twists.

Organiser Zoe Wild said: “This year’s may queen activities are going to be huge.

“We have contacted former queens and royalty to come back and join in the special day and bring old and young together.

“Everyone has a connection to the May Queen and it is such an important event for the community, so this year instead of having a theme like Hollywood or carnival we are just focusing on memories and delving into our past.”

This year’s May Queen is 11-year-old Amy Williams, who will be joined by Junior Queen Phea Land, Princess Sophie Baxby and Rosebud Ella Middleton.

However, in a break from tradition this year there will also be some new royalty members. Daniel Driver, 11, will be the May King and Ethan Sweeny will be the Prince.

Zoe said: “You have to not be afraid of trying something new. The only way to keep this wonderful tradition alive is to get more people involved and for a very long time the boys in the village have been left out, so we thought as it was a special year to try something different and we are pleased to say the response was amazing.”

The May Queen tradition began in 1928 when the local hospital started the event to raise funds.

This tradition continues to this day, with profits going to local charities. This year the collections during the parade will be for Charlie Craig’s Memorial Fund, Holly’s Footprint, Hayfield Primary School and Kinder Mountain Rescue.

Zoe said: “We are the longest-running may queen event in the country. Although some started before us, we continued throughout the war years.”

The parade will start at 1.30pm on Saturday, with events throughout the day.