Morris Dancing in Santa Cruz on Whitsunday

1995 June 4

Seabright Morris

On Sunday June 4 (Whitsunday) scores of morris dancers will recreate the springtime festivities which were once performed all over England at various places around Santa Cruz county. Seabright Morris will host teams from all over northern California in a celebration which dates from the time of King Charles II.

At the beginning of the 17th century morris dancing was done by the working class over much of England. After the English Civil War almost all forms of festive expression were suppressed by the new puritanical rulers. Celebrations could only be held if approved by civil and church authorities. With the return of the crown in the person of Charles II the folk of England were once again freed to celebrate springtime in large gatherings known as ``ales.'' These ales resembled modern county fairs and drew participants from all over a shire. They were held on Whitsunday partly in celebration of the birthday of Charles II. One of the sports at the ales was morris dancing with competitions between the many local teams. The Whitsun celebrations persisted for over two centuries until the social change caused by the industrial revolution finally ended them.

Here is the schedule of the touring:

1:00 - 2:30     Dancing at the Lighthouse Field: Show Dances and
		massed dances for all who will.

3:00 - 4:00     Pacific Garden Mall: we'll "spiral out" to three
		spots on the downtown Santa Cruz Pacific Ave;
		there are free municipal parking lots and ramps

4:30 - 5:30     Reshuffling combinations of teams, we'll go up
		the hill to Felton Commons (Covered Bridge) and
		Hallcrest Vinyards for a cheerful hour, and then
		mill up the hill a little more, to

6:00 pm         Dinner at Boulder Creek Brewing Company
		A perennial favorite; we can dance and sing there, too!
Teams which will be particpating and their home towns:
	Seabright Morris            Santa Cruz
	Berkeley Morris             Berkeley
	Mayfield Morris and Sword   Palo Alto
	Deer Creek Morris Men       Palo Alto
	Fools' Choice Morris        Palo Alto
	White Rat's Morris          San Francisco
	Monarch Grove Morris        Santa Barbara
	Red Tail Morris             San Francisco
	Bangors & Mash              Berkeley
	Purple Sage                 San Francisco
	Swords of Gridlock          Berkeley
	Emperor Norton's            Berkeley
	Stomp 'n' Jingle            East Bay
All performances are open to the public with no fee for attendance.
Tour Manager: Ruth Temple (
For further information...