SEA CLIFF CHILDREN CELEBRATE STENSON LIBRARY CENTENNIAL WITH MAYPOLE DANCE
May 16, 2015 -- In a ritual far more common a century ago than it is today, about three dozen children danced and wrapped streamers around a Maypole this past Wednesday afternoon in front of the beautifully restored Stenson Library - 100 years to the day after the neo-classical building on Sea Cliff Avenue opened to the public.
Sea Cliff Children's Librarian and Civic Association President Ann Dipietro, who has organized this “Founder’s Day” tradition for many years remarked, “Every May 13 on the front lawn, children and adults are magically transported back over the years to the day the Library opened for the very first time. The Maypole dancers, the birthday singers, all of us - enjoying this sweet moment in Sea Cliff's ever unfolding story!”
Catherine Espinosa, an expert in this springtime ritual central to May Day celebrations, guided students through the steps of the dance, as a recording of Strativarius' "Maypole Dancing" completed the scene. This year, as in the past, Sea Cliff residents and Civic Association members Walter and Petrice Kaider, set up and disassembled the Maypole, storing it until the next Founder’s Day, to bring it out once again introducing a new generation to this Sea Cliff tradition.
Mayor Bruce Kennedy participated in the festivities. "It's so exciting that Ann can re-open the library again,” he said. “It's so exciting on the 100th anniversary, the Stenson Memorial Library has been restored to its original grandeur and now it’s even better that it is a library dedicated to the children."
The celebration culminated with the crowd breaking into song - Happy Birthday of course - before, to the delight of the children, they were able to dig into the 100 mini cupcakes that had been generously donated by the Civic Association for the occasion.
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