This weekend: Beltane festival at Stone Mountain Farm

Photo by Linda Law. Courtesy of the Center for Symbolic Studies.

C’mon out and frolic ‘round the Maypole. The Center for Symbolic Studies's annual Beltane festival, taking place this year on Saturday, April 27, regularly draws a crowd of over 1,000 to celebrate the return of warmth and light. (Picture a Renaissance Faire with a lot less commercialism and a lot more Magick and you’ve got the idea.)

This annual rite of spring boasts dancing horses, dancing dragons, and a host of other mythic creatures, the poetry in motion of the Vanaver Caravan and their youth troupe, the Stone Mountain Masquers and Festival Singers, giant puppets, clowns, jongleurs and craftspeople all joining to welcome in the May Queen, blending centuries-old Celtic with right-now Rosendale into a spicy gumbo.

Family-friendly and alcohol free, taking place on 200 acres tucked deep in the woods, the festival’s enduring popularity is a testament to the intensive planning and rehearsal that weaves mythic resonance into sprightly entertainment. Leave your dog home, wear your gladdest rags and don’t forget your camera.

Beltane 2013, Center for Symbolic Studies at Stone Mountain Farm, 475 River Road Extension, New Paltz. Saturday, 4.27.2013. Gates open from 12pm-10pm, with music starting at 1pm and the pageant at 4pm. Admission $12; $6 for seniors and teens 11-17. For more information, visit the Center for Symbolic Studies website.