The first May Fete took place in 1883, however, this festival did not become a tradition until 1931, which was the third time the event took place. It was a May Day event celebrating spring through dance and other festivities. The traditional activities included the crowning of the Queen with her court, the parade of the queen and her subjects through downtown Kalamazoo, athletic tournaments, the May pole dance, skits, a dinner, and an all-college dance. The skits were written by students and were based on themes from fairytales or other children’s stories. May Fete was last celebrated in 1967.

Recent Submissions

  • 1948 May Fete Program 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1948-05-22)
    The Women's League present 1948's Fairy Tale themed May Fete. Following open houses of Trowbridge and Hoben Halls is the "Storybook Fantasy," a collection of skits based on popular fairy tales, performed on the campus quad. ...
  • 1947 May Fete Program 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1947-05-24)
    The Women's League presents May Fete, on May 24, 1947. The crowning of the May Fete queen, Barbara Ensing, is followed by the annual May Pole dance. Later in the day, spectators are wowed by the Naval Reserve Air Show and ...
  • 1952 May Fete Program 

    The Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1952-05-24)
    The Women's League presents May Fete on May 24, 1952. Activities include an open house of all dormitories and a reception at the Mary Trowbridge house, followed by the pageant full of dancing. French, Estonian, Bavarian, ...
  • 1931 May Fete 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1931-05)
    In May, 1931, the Women's League presented May Fete. The celebration included a parade of the May Fete queen's subjects, tournament awards, and the May Pole dance. Margaret Gordon, Class of 1931, was crowned the queen.
  • 1946 May Fete 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1946-05-25)
    The Women's League presents May Fete on May 25, 1946. Festivities included the coronation ceremony of the May Fete queen followed by a garden party held for the queen and her guests.
  • 1949 May Fete 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1949-05-21)
    The Women's League presents May Fete on May 21, 1949. The pageant's theme was the history of Kalamazoo College, acted out through multiple skits, including "The Way It All Started," "The Birth of a Tradition," and "The ...
  • 1958 May Fete Program 

    Women's League (Kalamazoo College, 1958-05-09)
    The Women's League presents Snow White for the May Fete celebration on May 9, 1958.The pageant included a dance and daisy chain as well as a vocal and orchestra performance.
  • May Fete Court, 1929 

    Unknown (Kalamazoo College, 1929)
    The 1929 May Fete court stands on the steps of Bowen Hall. They are Ruth Hudson (K'27), Polly Larsen McQueen (K'30), Queen Marian Thompson Grimes (K'30), Margaret G. Schuschardt (K'31), and Margaret Fellows (K'32). Miss ...
  • Kalamazoo College 1930 May Fete 

    Unknown (Kalamazoo College, 1930-05-21)
    Women Kalamazoo College students dancing around a May pole during the 1930 May Fete. The May Fete was first held at the College by the women's Eurodelphian Gamma society in 1883, but it did not take off as a tradition until ...
  • Kalamazoo College 1935 May Fete 

    Unknown (Kalamazoo College, 1935-05)
    The 1935 May Fete procession on the Kalamazoo College quadrangle. The May Fete was first held at the College by the women's Eurodelphian Gamma society in 1883, but it did not take off as a tradition until the early 20th ...