Barwick-in-Elmet Maypole Festival takes place on the 29th May. Preparations for the day are underway and the 86ft maypole has been taken down to be repainted, a mammoth task aided by the many volunteers.
The origins of the maypole date back to when Barwick was at the cente of the Kingdom of Elmet – a small kingdom lying between the more powerful Northumbria and Mercia. When Elmet fell into the hands of King Edwin in around 619AD, a long pole festooned with feathers, called a ‘toup’ was placed in the centre for all to see.
The Barwick Maypole festival takes place every 3 years and is a great family friendly day which includes the May Queen’s procession, traditional maypole dancing, a street market, fun fair, food stalls and all the hospitality of the local pubs.
The day culminates with a brave maypole climber shinning his way to the top to spin the fox weathervane. This year local mechanic Steve Tarpy age 41 will be the oldest to make the climb – a tradition always watched by the eagerly awaiting crowds.