May Day 2023

We had a wonderful celebration of the return of spring with May Day!

Monday, May 1, 2023
6 - 7:30 am (sunrise)
Thornden Park Water Tower

The festivities included lots of Morris dancing, an original Mumming play, spring flowers and the May Day song. This year's Morris teams were Thornden Morris and the Bassett Street Hounds.

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Thornden at May Day 2023

Thornden and Heartwood Morris Reorganized

Thornden Morris welcomes Heartwood Morris
February 5, 2020

The beginning of a new year brings the beginning of a new chapter in Central New York’s Morris dancing community. Thornden Morris, a traditionally all female Cotswold dancing group, has combined with Ithaca’s Heartwood Morris. The new team will keep the Thornden Morris name and overall kit, but will be gender inclusive and will incorporate a few Heartwood Morris kit elements.

Thornden Morris was chartered in the 1980’s in Syracuse and named after Thornden Park, a beautiful municipal park in the center of Syracuse near Syracuse University. The Rose Garden in Thornden Park, where Thornden Morris takes its logo of the rose from, is a favorite stopping point, especially in June when the roses are in full bloom. Thornden Morris dances are in various traditions including Fieldtown, Ducklington, Bampton and more.

Heartwood Morris was started by Peter Hoover in the late 1990’s concentrating on Adderbury and Fieldtown traditions. He was a stalwart musician for many years, helping contribute to the group’s style and exuberance. With the contributions of others including Peter, a new tradition was born, “Ithaca-on-Hemp” combining many of the steps from other traditions.

Both groups have participated in May Day, a longstanding tradition in Syracuse, since 1981. This sunrise celebration takes place on May 1st with dancing, May Day cake, and a Maypole. There is also a mumming play, a tradition performed for hundreds of years, uniting the past and present in humorous social commentary.

The new group, named Thornden Morris, will perform the traditions of each group, highlighting both groups’ characteristics and in the future, creating stronger dance routines. Nancy McCracken and Julia Schult will train us as co-fore with Nancy as squire.

Practices are on Tuesdays at 7:00 PM. We always welcome new members to join in the fun and camaraderie. Contact Nancy McCracken at (315) 471-7591 or send email to her at

You may also want to check out the homepage of another Morris team in Syracuse: Bassett Street Hounds, a mixed Border Morris team. Other teams appear on the Wikipedia Morris Teams Directory.