The May Day celebrations in Gawthorpe always takes place on the first Saturday in May starting from the centre of Gawthorpe. Everybody entering the event must register, whether they are taking part as fancy dress or entering a float. This can be done visiting the Maypole Hut – 50 yrds down from the Shoulder of Mutton Pub in Gawthorpe on the morning of the procession. All involved in the procession are asked to meet at Highfield’s School in Gawthorpe where they will be given further instructions. The procession starts at 2.00pm.
The procession route is approximately 4 1/2 miles with a 20 / 30 minute break at Ossett Community centre half way round. The procession itself consists of decorated floats, entered by local schools, church organisations and manufacturing companies. Children in a variety of fancy dress costumes, Marching Bands, Majorettes, Horses along with various other competitors and of course the May Queen and her attendants. Vintage and Classic cars are also encouraged to enter the procession and are also judged in their own classes. There is a Funfair, provided by ”Robinson’s for more than 100 years “, within walking distance which has the various rides and usual type of entertainment associated with them.
The procession starts at Highfield’s school, it will take a loop down High Street in the village, up Pickering, across Cross Street and then back in front of the Shoulder of Mutton Pub. The procession will then leave the village and travel down Swithenbank, and out onto Leeds Road. At the round-a-bout it will turn left down Kingsway. Once at the Co-op the procession will turn right onto Ventnor Way and follow the road round turning left onto Bank Street. The procession will park here and take a break in the Community Centre.
Outbound from the Community Centre, the procession will turn left onto Prospect Road and then continue up Church Street. The procession stops outside the Nursing Home at the top of Church Street where the brass band plays for the elderly people. Finally the procession turns back into the village and continues up Bridal Avenue in Gawthorpe before reaching the Maypole Green where the May Queen and her Maids gather on the Green.