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The Origin of the May Festival

and notes of other annual festivals








The annual three-day May Festival held on the first May Bank Holiday with a parade of floats, games, walks, talks, stalls, an art exhibition, history display, afternoon and evening entertainment, car boot sale, jazz bands, cream teas and other traditional trappings (such as, of course, maypole dancing) has become an essential part of Kimptonís village life. 

It was the mid-1960s when the idea of a May Festival to raise money for the Church was first mooted by Helen Price at a Parochial Church Council meeting. At that time a lot of money had just been spent on building Church House and death watch beetle had been discovered in the Parish Church. Helen, Pat Peck and Pam Martin, the vicar's wife, organised the first May Festival in 1965.

Ron Hyde, the village milkman, was the ideal person to persuade people to take part and to advertise the event on his on his rounds whilst having the outgoing personality ideally suited to Master of Ceremonies. He continued in this role until 1992 whilst also being Chairman and prime mover in getting the Festival off the ground. Sadly, in February 1993 he suffered a stroke and was unable to run the Festival any more.

The Festival has gone from strength to strength over recent years and is the highlight of the year in Kimpton, raising thousands of pounds for local causes. 

You can watch a slideshow of past May Festivals here...

...and go to the May Festival's own website here.



You may be interested in other annual events in Kimpton:

The Kimpton Horse Show (since 1944 with the photos to prove it)

The Kimpton Folk Festival (only since 2016, but growing every year)





The pupils of Kimpton Primary School

keep the old maypole dancing tradition



The May Queen, as immortalised in

the Millennium Tapestry


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