From the land that gave us Monty Python and maypole dancing comes another tradition this weekend that’s becoming Tacoma’s own: the Abbots Bromliad. The medieval English folk tradition might look a little silly, but it’s fun to do and it’s on for the second year on Labor Day at Tacoma’s Old Town Park.
What’s an Abbots Bromliad? Abbots Bromley is both a tune and a village in Staffordshire, England, where every year the good villagers don 1,000-year-old reindeer antlers, hobby horses and Maid Marian-type costumes (for men, that is) and dance from town to town (and pub to pub) to the lilting, piping tune. Others dress as fools or bowmen; everyone joins in the dancing and merry drinking.
There’s no Abbots Bromley anywhere in Puget Sound, but we do have a Bromliad, thanks to the cheery folks at the Puget Sound Revels. As well as producing their annual Christmas-time show of folk song and traditions, they bring song outside at other times of the year like the solstice, equinoxes and – now – Labor Day. Show up at Old Town Park on Monday afternoon and you, too, can become an Abbots Bromladian. You can bring antlers or sticks to hold over your head, wear a “Bet” costume, bring an instrument to play along with the horn dance tune or just turn up with a picnic and have fun. There’ll also be some country dancing.
The event runs from noon-2 p.m. Monday at Old Town Park, N. 30th St., Tacoma. It’s free.
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