Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wood
Photo courtesy of Alyssa Wood

Games, merriment and old tradition welcomed in warm weather to Eatonville this year as a part of a long-standing town tradition. 

The commencement of the annual Community Day and May Day Court was held on Friday, May 3 at Eatonville High School. The event included booths featuring food and face painting, family-friendly activities, a student exhibit and attendance of local organizations, including the Eatonville Fire Department. 

As a longstanding part of Community Day, the May Court was held in the school gym. Alicia Fisher was coronated the 93rd Queen of May Day, along with the May Day King, Cody Walls, both are students at Eatonville High School.

A long-standing tradition in the town of Eatonville, Community Day began in 1913 when Burton W. Lyon, superintendent of the school district, encouraged local youth to clean up graffiti around the school and town. The town was very small at that time, with a population of around 800 and only had a few businesses. A year later, the event was incorporated in the Tacoma Eastern Fair.

The May Fete, or May Court, began in 1919 and was created by school teacher Bertha Mahaffie. It was an independent event until it was incorporated into Community Day in 1926. The May Court included traditional May Day dances and displays before the May King and Queen, and the traditional wrapping of the Maypole. The first May Day Queen was Faye Williams and King Bill Smith. The Maypole is a symbol signifying the return of a warm and comfortable climate and is thought to have Germanic Pagan origins. The wrapping of the Maypole is still a tradition during spring festivals in

Europe and has been carried over to the United States, where it also remains a staple of some festivities.
The event saw incredible attendance, with students and their families filling the gymnasium stands to watch the Maypole wrapping and procession of the court, as well as participate in activities in the front of the school.