All Species Day Details

All Species Day

Since 1989, we have been celebrating All Species Day in Montpelier. Usually held on the first Sunday in May, it begins at Noon in Hubbard Park with calling in the creatures of the four directions, honoring the awakening Spring with song, dance, and puppet pageantry. Everyone is invited to come dressed as their favorite species and join in the festivities. The parade leaves the park after 1pm and arrives at the Statehouse 2:30pm for the Birth of Spring Pageant, Maypole dancing, and more. Mark your calendars and join us in celebrating the interdependence of all of the earth's beauty and bounty.

All Species Day is being celebrated on Sunday, May 5, 2024 ~ 12 - 4pm 

Come Dressed as your Favorite Species and join in Celebrating our Interdependence with All of Life.


Thank you all for coming! Here are videos by ORCA media of the 2024 events:

Opening Circle Video

Statehouse Pageant


Sunday, May 5 - All Species Day

12 - 1 pm- Hubbard Park - Calling All Species, arrival of the Stag King, and line-up for Parade

1:15 - 2:15 pm- - Parade - From Park, to Main street and State Street

2:30 - 4:00 pm Birth Of Spring Pageant at Statehouse


Saturday, May 4 - Pageant Rehearsal - Statehouse Lawn 

11:00-12:30 ~ Calling All Species - Hubbard Park Soccer Field, below Old Shelter.

1:00 - 3:00 pm ~ Birth of Spring Pageant - Includes dance practices: Samba for the parade, Congo and Yemayah for Birth of Spring, the Flower Children's Dance and Songs.

3:00 - 4:00pm ~ Maypole Dance- Statehouse Lawn


Dance Rehearsals ~ Samba  ~ Congo ~ Yemayah 

March 28 and April 25 -12noon at Capital City Grange - Northfield St/ Rte 12 just south of th I-89 overpass - Free

Dances will be taught during Allison's Dance and Stretch Mon  & Weds 12-1pm classes at Contemporary Dance & Fitness Studio Rm. 103 Stone Science Bldg VCFA 62 Ridge St. $5  

For info and to sign up to dance:


Singing Rehearsals

Join in the singing at All Species! Here are practice links to two of the songs! Rehearsal Monday April 29th 7:30-8:15pm at the Plainfield Community Center. Organized by Heidi Wilson. 

The Feast, by Heidi Wilson
When: We will sing this during the Calling All Species pageant in the Soccer Field at Hubbard Park that begins at noon. We sing it after all the directions have been recognized.
Location: Singers can gather on the North (far) side of the soccer field if you want singing company, or you can sing it from anywhere around the circle really!  

In May That Lusty Season,  Renaissance England
Location: Statehouse lawn, after the parade has arrived and folks have settled. 
When: During the Birth of Spring pageant around 2:30. We will gather by the drummers on the right side of the lawn, when the big tall Earth Goddess puppet has emerged onto the Statehouse steps.

**Libana singing In May That Lusty Season**
In May, that lusty season,
To gather the flowers down by the meadows gree-----n.
The birdes sang on every side,
So merrily it joyed my heart.
They toyned so--- clean.
The nightingale sang on high joyfully,
So merrily among the thornes keen.

Want to practice ahead of time? (I'll have sheet musicđŸ˜‰)
Monday April 29th 7:30-8:15pm
Plainfield Community Center
153 Main St, Plainfield, VT 05667
Following the regular Plainfield Spring Community Singing session from 6-7:30


Mask Making and Puppet Repair Workshops

Saturdays - April 20 & 27, 10-3pm at AllTogetherNow! Community Arts Center. Come make a mask or costume, and/or help repair puppets. $10-25 suggested donation. 


Puppeteers and Volunteers Needed! Contact us for details

Thank you Montpelier Alive and the City of Montpelier for your support.

The Music and Dance Traditions of All Species Day

drum and dance in paradeSince 1989, Montpelier has been celebrating the rebirth of Spring with song and dance traditions from around the world. Since the 1990s, Montpelier's Afro-Caribbean Drum and Dance class has been core to the musical tradition of this event. This community participates in the folkloric dance and conga traditions of Cuba and Haiti. These powerful traditions claim lineage from the diasporic spiritual and cultural practices of Yoruba, Dahomey, Nago, Congo, and other African culture groups who were kidnapped and brought to the Caribbean during the Atlantic Slave Trade.

In 1981, 1988, and 2001, drummers and dancers from central Vermont traveled to Cuba to learn directly from master drummers and dancers of this tradition. Throughout the years, this drum and dance class community has been taught by teachers carrying forward Caribbean musical lineages including Richard Gonzales, Mona and John Amira, Pat Hall Smith, and Reynaldo Gonzales.

Stuart Paton of Burlington Taiko has been holding down this Haitian and Cuban drumming tradition in central Vermont for many years. He has traveled to Cuba, Guinea Conakry, and Senegal to learn directly from master drummers of those respective traditions. Dance teacher Carla Kevorkian of O Bread, and past teacher Katra Kindar, have been holding these Afro-Caribbean dance lineages in Montpelier. Other core drummers for All Species Day have included Ira Friedman, Tom Lasher, Linda Warnaar, Jordan Mensah of Shidaa Projects, Keith Levinson, Mica McDonald, and many others.

​The specific dances and songs we practice for All Species Day are Samba (from Brazil) for the parade, Congo and Parigol (from Haiti) at the Winooski River crossing to honor Oshun the Yoruban goddess of sweet waters, and at the Statehouse Cuban rhythms dedicated to Yemaya, goddess of the ocean. The Cuban and Haitian rhythms played include secularized versions of Santería and Vodoun songs dedicated to these Orishas/Loa appropriate for public performance.

At the Hubbard Park ceremony, there is West African dance performed by the Wontonara Guinean drum and dance class taught by Seny Daffe. Seny is a master drummer, singer, and dancer born in Guinea Conakry. He has been studying the traditional musical arts since childhood and has performed and taught in Vermont since 2006.

Dancers on a grassy field