Hooray, it's May

Woodside turns out for its traditional May Day fete

By Barbara Wood | Special to the Almanac

Woodside's 92nd annual May Day celebration was a lot like the previous 91, and that's exactly the way the town likes it -- a small-town tradition carried on in the traditional way.

Once again, the state highway that runs through the center of town was closed on the first Saturday in May for four hours so horses, kids on bikes, marching bands (Woodside High and the silly Los Trancos Woods Community marching bands to be exact), and members of the Town Council and history committee and the Friends of the Library and Friends of Huddart and Wunderlich Park, and kids from both local nursery schools could parade from Woodside Elementary School, past the church and the fire station and the library to the parking lot at Canada Corners and back again.

Lots of candy was thrown and costumed kids cleaned up the messes the horses left behind. Eighth-graders stopped in front of master of ceremonies Bo Magnussen to perform excerpts from "The Wizard of Oz," their operetta this year. Dressed-up trucks advertised the "Hometown Hero" theme of this year's fundraising auction for the school and urged a yes vote on the school bond measure on the June ballot.

Sheriff's deputies were there -- on bicycles, motorcycles and in patrol cars and golf carts -- not so much to nab wrong-doers as to make sure no one was stepped on by a horse, and maybe to redirect the confused bicyclists who instead of breezing through town as usual found themselves in the middle of a parade.

As usual, a court of kindergarteners chosen at random held a place of honor in the back of an antique fire truck. Elianne Frenkel-Popell, wh0 grew up in Woodside and whose children go to the school, was the grand marshal.

Members of the class of 1964 celebrated 50 years since their graduation from eighth-grade by marching, too, perhaps just a bit more slowly than the last time they'd done it.

After the parade, third-graders did the traditional May Pole dance in the school's outdoor amphitheater, wearing pastel costumes passed on from one year to the next.

Citizen of the year

Kerri Stenson, one of the parade co-chairs, was surprised when the time came to announce the annual Citizen of the Year and it turned out to be her.

Ms. Stenson was honored for a long list of accomplishments at the school, including many leadership roles in the PTA. She established a teacher grant program and a student photo program that raises money for the grant program. She has worked on the school auction, the bond measure campaign, and the strategic plan committee, and she has co-chaired the May Day parade for years.

Ms. Stenson is the founder of Edible Silicon Valley magazine and has worked to bring the farmers' market to Woodside. She grows produce on her property for the Woodside Bakery.

"She truly cares deeply, not only for our school, but for the community as a whole," her nomination said.

Fun run

The day started with a fun run and walk, in which everyone from dogs to kids in double strollers participated, and a pancake breakfast cooked by the Rotary Club. The day ended with a barbecue and carnival on the school grounds.

Finally, the road was reopened to motorists driving to the coast and bicyclists heading for a scenic ride, and the 92nd May Day in Woodside was over.


Like this comment
Posted by Darrell Batchelder
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Glens
on May 6, 2014 at 2:54 pm

Barbara captured the spirit of May Day, an opportunity for busy people to re-connect too. I see people at the parade and pancake breakfast I don't see the rest of the year. And the kids get so excited about the wrapped "penny" candy thrown their way out from the many decorated vehicles parading by. Bye, bye -- see you all next year for the 93rd.

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