Maypole Dancers – Amana Colonies Maifest 2012


This past weekend was the annual Maifest Celebration in the Amana Colonies.  The weather was beautiful on Saturday which brought out a pretty healthy crowd to celebrate Spring’s new life.  That is what the spirit of Maifest is all about.  The Amana Colonies are German-settled villages in East Central Iowa that date back to the mid 1800’s.  Contrary to popular belief, these Colonies are not Amish.  Instead, these villages were founded by German immigrants who escaped Christian persecution.  Maifest is annual Spring celebration by these folks aiming to get back to their roots.

One of the traditions of Maifest is Maypole Dancing.  The dancers don their traditional German garb and perform traditional song and dance around a maypole.  They form circles and rhythmically weave their ribbons around the pole in song.  Feel free to safely click any photo for a full size view.

Starting a Maypole Dance
The dancers sing and dance around the pole forming a weave with their respective ribbons accompanied by a traditional accordionist.
The maypole dancers wear traditional German costumes.


The Maypole dancers are all ages and many families have participated throughout many generations.
The historic Ox Yoke Inn serves as a great backdrop for this event. The Ox Yoke is one of a handful of remaining restaurants that serve family style traditional German cuisine. These Inns were once communal kitchens that served the village residents daily.
The Maypole dancers were accompanied by a traditional accordionist dressed in his traditional German clothing.

The Amana Colonies are situated between Iowa City and Cedar Rapids conveniently located off of Interstate 80 and Interstate 380.  You can easily spend a day sampling the many shops, museums, wineries and restaurants, and can even play a round of golf on the Championship Amana Colonies Golf Course.


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