Heart of the Beast’s final May Day showcases student voices

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Heart of the Beast’s final May Day showcases student voices

HART students at South participated in the May Day Parade. “I’ve always been a part of the parade with my dad’s marching band and it’s always been a big deal because as I said before it’s a big celebration of the coming of summer, enjoying life and spending time with my community. And seeing what our community makes,” said Will Danaher, a senior who has been a long time participant of the parade and musician.

HART students at South participated in the May Day Parade. “I’ve always been a part of the parade with my dad’s marching band and it’s always been a big deal because as I said before it’s a big celebration of the coming of summer, enjoying life and spending time with my community. And seeing what our community makes,” said Will Danaher, a senior who has been a long time participant of the parade and musician.

Corinth Matera

HART students at South participated in the May Day Parade. “I’ve always been a part of the parade with my dad’s marching band and it’s always been a big deal because as I said before it’s a big celebration of the coming of summer, enjoying life and spending time with my community. And seeing what our community makes,” said Will Danaher, a senior who has been a long time participant of the parade and musician.

Corinth Matera

Corinth Matera

HART students at South participated in the May Day Parade. “I’ve always been a part of the parade with my dad’s marching band and it’s always been a big deal because as I said before it’s a big celebration of the coming of summer, enjoying life and spending time with my community. And seeing what our community makes,” said Will Danaher, a senior who has been a long time participant of the parade and musician.

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This year marks the 45th anniversary of the HOBT’s (Heart of the Beast Theater) May Day Parade, along with their with final year hosting it for the foreseeable future. Heart of the Beast’s pull-out due to financial concerns has left many South students worried for its continued existence.

“It’s affected me emotionally because I’ve been involved with HOBT for so many years and it’s just really allowed me and so many other people to show their creative side,” said Meera Safford, a sophomore at South and dedicated member of the Parade.

“I’ve always been a part of the parade with my dad’s marching band and it’s always been a big deal because as I said before it’s a big celebration of the coming of summer, enjoying life and spending time with my community. And seeing what our community makes,” said Will Danaher, a senior who has been a long time participant of the parade and musician.

The May day parade is an annual celebration that starts in the Phillips neighborhood and ends at Powderhorn Park. The Parade contains puppets and costumes ranging from tiny to massive, often portraying issues pertaining to social justice and environmentalism.

“[My favorite part of the parade is] having people express themselves and seeing what there is that’s created, [so] It’s really unfortunate [that HOBT will no longer be a part of the May Day parade] because they always add such an important part… with their political statements and the creations that they make,” said Safford.                                      

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The Parade’s effect on people varies depending on who you ask, but one thing many can agree on is its impact on the Twin Cities and South is astounding. “I think its integral, a lot of South High students go and watch it and they participate in it it’s just an important part of the history of our neighborhood,” said Laura Lanik, a Social Studies teacher at South High and one of the H-Art teachers.

“The point for us in the Parade is to just spend time together with music to listen to and enjoy… [but] It’s really unfortunate [that HOBT will no longer be a part of the May Day Parade] because they always add such an important part of the play with their political statements and the creations that they make,” said Danaher

The parade this year saw South High School’s first official appearance in the parade. Students in the H-Art (Hands on Art) class worked with the HOTB to create costumes and a section for the students

“It was super fun, this is the first year South High had its own section in the parade… and I think being together really made all of us bond… and it encouraged all of us to have a little bit more fun,” said Lanik. “[The H-Art class] tried to be very social justice oriented,” she said.

“Things we wanna get rid of like islamophobia, sexual assault, rape, and things we want more of like love, respect and peace, that’s what we put into our section,” Lanik noted.

The future of the Parade is unclear and many aren’t really sure what to expect, worrying that it may be taken over. “I would assume an organization [will take up the funding and creation of the May Day celebration] that has some money in their background or a lot of wealth… I’m afraid that Target or some big corporation like that will take over and make it this big grandiose thing instead of celebrating the coming summer,” said Danaher.

Though others have hope that the community or young artists can pick up the reigns and continue its legacy.

“I don’t know what the future will be [for the Parade], but hopefully it continues on even when newer leaders [take control, and they’ll] probably [be] younger performers who have been involved… but it won’t be the same,” said Safford.

“It would be nice if the community could step up in a bigger way or maybe there’s several arts [that could] pitch in to put the Parade on instead of just one,” said Lanik

“Whenever I think about (the Parade) I just feel warm, but it’s a freeing feeling that finally we’ve gone through this s***** Winter and Spring and Summer are finally around the corner and we get to enjoy ourselves getting to see our friends and what the community has made,” said Danaher.

“If HOBT is not in control of it then it’s gonna be a lot different, change is difficult of course at first but I’m sure I’ll get used to it,” said Danaher.

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