May Day 2016: Big Festivities at The Big ACRE

Good Cheer’s fourth annual May Day celebration combined an ancient tradition, a big new planting venture, and an abundance of food and friends in one sunshine-filled afternoon.

Partygoers of all sizes dancing around the maypole at The Big ACRE.

For time immemorial, agricultural societies throughout Europe have held May Day festivals to welcome the return of spring. They would dance around a maypole and feast with fellow community members to celebrate the fertility of the land. This May Day, the South Whidbey community kept that tradition alive at The Big ACRE, Good Cheer’s new collaborative farm that will grow food for both the Good Cheer Food Bank and South Whidbey School District cafeterias. 

Partygoers gathered to tour The Big ACRE, including its new hoop house, orchard, and first planting of onions and kale. With a potluck feast, as well as face painting, pet rock decorating, flower crown making, and Larry Dobson, a breathtaking sight atop his stilts, Good Cheer’s May Day party kicked off the Big ACRE’s growing season to a fantastic start.


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Stoni Tomson, this year’s garden apprentice, welcomed the crowd. “We want to celebrate the fertility of our soil at Good Cheer and here at The Big ACRE. We also want to celebrate the richness and the fruitfulness of our relationships as a community that make collaborations like this one possible. Just as healthy soil contains many different kinds of organisms working together, this project will continue to be a success because community members all work together and contribute to it in their own ways,” Tomson said. The celebration then culminated in a spirited dance around the maypole, accompanied by a harmonious trio of singers.


Missed the May Day festivities? Come volunteer on Wednesdays!

This year’s May Day celebration was a big reminder of the power of people working together that makes important projects like The Big ACRE possible. That’s why the Good Cheer Garden crew is thrilled to welcome new volunteers at our weekly Wednesday work parties from 9 AM -4 PM. Come for as long or as little as you like, but don’t miss our picnic lunch at noon! As always, volunteers of all ages and abilities are welcome; everyone who comes out to help is crucial to our success. Hope to see you at the garden on Wednesday!

For more information about how you can support or donate to Good Cheer Garden and The Big ACRE, please contact Camille Green, Good Cheer Garden Manager, at

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