This Saturday (4th May) will be Knutsford’s 155th Royal May Day. It is the highlight of the town’s calendar and a wonderful day of festivities which epitomises Knutsford’s community spirit. But what is it all about?! We’ve rounded up all the details….
What is the May Day Grand Procession?
The highlight of May Day is a parade through the town, the Grand Procession, involving over 650 school children. The children wear costumes of all kinds from nursery rhyme characters to flowers to circus acts! This year’s new costumes are the “Royal nannies.” The children parade alongside floats, animals, marching bands and Morris dancers.
Who is the May Queen and how is she elected?
Every year a girl is chosen to have the great honour of being Knutsford’s May Queen. As well as being the star of the May Day festivities, she also has responsibilities throughout the year. The Festival Committee themselves elect the Queen, and in order to be a candidate she must have taken part for several years, and live within the Old Urban District of Knutsford. The Crown Bearer is an important role for a chosen boy in Knutsford, who must work his way up to the position from the age of 5. This year the May Queen will be Ciara York and the Crown Bearer will be Finlay Wright.
What time does it start? Where should we watch from?
The children leave Marshall’s Yard at 2pm via the gate opposite St John’s (note this is a change to previous years). They proceed down Toft Road where they will be joined by the May Queen’s Court emerging from the Town Council Offices. The procession will then travel down Adam’s Hill, on to King Street and past the Tatton Park entrance. It will continue along Tatton Street and Princess Street before turning right on to King Edward Road, straight over the roundabout and along Manchester Road then left on to the Heath. The expected arrival time at the Heath is approximately 3:15pm. People line the streets to watch, so pick a spot (get there early!) anywhere along the way!
The May Queen will be crowned by the Crown Bearer on the Heath when the procession arrives there. Children will dance prior to the crowning and the festivities will conclude with the dancing around the May Pole (ending at approximately 4:30pm).
Is anything else happening on the day?
There will be a wonderful atmosphere across the town; the bunting will be up and the streets covered in messages in brightly coloured sand (the “sanding” of the streets). There are also various things happening including:
St John’s Church and Café will be open from 12 – 4pm serving sandwiches, cakes, kids meals and drinks.
Knutsford Methodist Church will be open from 11:30am serving refreshments.
The Knutsford May Day Fun Fair is on the Heath from Thursday 2nd to Mon 6th May including a free fireworks display on Sunday night. Click here to download discount vouchers (not valid on Saturday).
There is a special May Day Service at St John’s Church at 10:15am on Sunday 5th May, where members of the court (including the May Queen and Crown Bearer) and representatives of the Committee attend.
What are the road closures? Where can I park?
Various roads will be closed from 12:45pm – 4pm for the parade; click here to see full details. The official car parking for the May Day is on the Little Heath and is arranged and manned by volunteers from Knutsford District Scouts. The entrance is on Northwich Road opposite the fair and the parking fee is £3.00 all day (it opens at 10am).
Who organises the festivities?
The Royal May Day festivities are organised and run by a team of hard working volunteers. The day relies heavily on donations from individuals and local businesses. The committee were thrilled that both the Knutsford Beer Festival and Knutsford Market Hall chose the Knutsford Royal May Day as their community project to support this year. There will be street collections on the day; please consider giving to help keep this fantastic community event the best it can be!! Donations can also be made via the website.
For up to date information please visit the Knutsford Royal May Day’s Facebook group.