Tree of Life Ceremony

The MayDay Parade, Ceremony and Festival are free, but donations are gratefully accepted at the event. Prefer to donate now? DONATE

A joyous annual ritual for nearly 60,000 people in the Twin Cities.

The MayDay Tree of Life Ceremony in Powderhorn Park

Each year, 200-300 committed participants of all ages enact a a pageant rising from the parade theme of the current year. This story is told with children and adult dancers, puppeteers, a live orchestra and four giant serene puppets who represent the Prairie, Sky, River, and Woods. It culminates in the Tree of Life Ceremony: to the steady beating of drums, a resplendent red Sun Flotilla paddles the Sun from across the lake to the shore where the Tree of Life sleeps, waiting to be reawakened.

The Best Sign of Spring: MayDay

Six months of relentless winter always leaves us a little paranoid: It may snow again. It is only with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet Theatre's annual May Day Parade that we can shed our fears of winter and join in a communal celebration of rebirth that is as joyous, giddy, and oversized as our emotions.

When those two-story-tall puppets begin their haunting, wordless journey to Powderhorn Park, whatever remains of our seasonal depression slips away.

The relief of it is enough to send spectators into tears when, along with the tens of thousands of other attendees, they begin to sing a song that finally banishes winter for another six months: Gene Autry's "You Are My Sunshine."


The Tree of Life Ceremony is a multi-generational event, and your participation is welcome!

Accessibility Services

The Tree of Life Ceremony is presented in American Sign Language (ASL). If you or someone in your party needs ASL services, please meet by the seating area on the South end of the Ceremony ring after the parade.

We are also working to confirm Audio Description for the Ceremony; stay tuned for more details.