MayDay parade draws thousands of spectators to Minneapolis

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Thousands of people lined the streets in south Minneapolis Sunday as oversized puppets, expansive floats and costumed entertainers made their way down Bloomington Avenue South for the 41st annual MayDay Parade.

The spring celebration is put on by In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre (HOBT), a community arts nonprofit, which picks a different theme every year that helps reflect the theater's community.

This year's theme – "...And Still We Rise" – was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Parade organizers hope the theme, which is more straightforward and specific than past years, will foster real-world change to end racial oppression, CityPages says. Past themes have touched on the environment, immigration and pollinators.

Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, a group that has been very involved in the local Black Lives Matter movement, led off the parade, carrying signs detailing this year's theme.

Following the parade, spectators and participants will gather in Powderhorn Park for the MayDay Tree of Life Ceremony, where a story – keeping with the theme of the parade – is told by children, adult dancers, puppeteers and a live orchestra.

There is also a free festival with music, dancing, poetry and food in the park until dusk.

The MayDay events attract up to 50,000 people ever year, Star Tribune says.

A look at the MayDay celebrations:

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