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Eligibility to Participate, Vote or Stand for Election as May Queen




  1. The Rules below govern participation in, and eligibility criteria to vote or stand, for the annual election of the May Queen and her entourage.

  2. The Committee reserve the right to vary the rules of the election if circumstances demand.

  3. The Secretary will retain a comprehensive list of participants in the previous years’ May Festival to determine eligibility to vote for the May Queen or stand as a candidate.

  4. The election will be conducted by at least two Committee members who will be impartial and have no known connection with any of the candidates.

  5. To be eligible to dance, vote or stand for May Queen children will either:

    1. Attend a village Lower School and dance and vote with that school.

    2. Attend a school outside the parish and participate in dancing and voting based on their parental home address.

    3. Attend a village Lower School and live outside the parish they will participate in dancing and voting based on their Lower School attendance.


Children will retain this association as they move through the school system, swaps will not normally be permitted.


Note: If for any reason dancers are unable to participate in May Day

(ie through illness or participation in an educational trip) they should notify the Secretary so that the absence can be formally recorded at the time).


Election of the May Queen and her entourage.


  1. Voting criteria:


a. All those aged 5–17 yrs who have danced in the previous May Day (or have formally recorded a reason for absence) and either:


  1. Attend the local village school in Caldecote or Northill. or


  1. Have a residential/parental home within the Northill Parish boundary or reside in Old Warden (for children who attend school outside the parish boundary).


  1. May Queen eligibility criteria:

  1. Aged 12-17 years on 31st August of the current year.

  2. Have danced in the previous three May Festivals, or three out of the last four festivals.

  3. Have parental support to participate in the elections and for all that being a May Queen involves (decoration of trailers etc).


Election organisation.


  1. The May Queen is selected alternately from the villages of Caldecote/Old Warden or Ickwell/ Northill/Thorncote and adjacent hamlets.


  1. The Committee will advertise the election locally in a prominent position for a minimum of 2 weeks. The election timetable will be agreed by Committee.

  2. Any problems concerning the election shall be referred to the May Day Committee for resolution. Their decision is final, this may defer the election in extreme circumstances.

  3. Voting slips will be issued to all eligible voters by the Secretary/Election organisers.

  4. Voting slips will contain: a. List of candidates in alphabetical order.

b. Closing date and time for the votes to be cast. Voters will be asked to select a first and second choice for the role of May Queen.

  1. Election candidates will, if possible, all be contacted on the closing date of the election by telephone to be informed of the results.




  1. First place (the most votes) – May Queen. In the event that the candidate declines to accept this role, the role of May Queen will be offered to the second place candidate.

  2. Second place – Garland

  3. Third place - Sceptre

  4. Fourth place – Attendant – may be omitted if there is difficulty with numbers.

  5. Fifth place - Attendant – may be omitted if there is difficulty with numbers.

  6. Sixth place – Reserve; may be used if there are 6 candidates and it would be insensitive to reject one individual. The Committee cannot accommodate more than 6 members in the entourage.

  7. In the event of a tie (same number of votes) for the first place May Queen position the ‘second choice’ votes will then be counted and added to the first place choices to give an outright winner.



  1. The new May Queen and her entourage will be announced by the May Day Committee locally ie local paper/village magazine/facebook etc.

  2. If for any reason the May Queen is unable to fulfil her duties on the day the situation will be discussed by the Committee and the decision will be binding on all concerned. If this is at short notice, ie illness etc, her role will be taken by the retiring Queen who will preside over the festival. The new May Queen will be crowned in absentia, receive the traditional locket and undertake any duties during the year, she will then crown the incoming May Queen the following year.

Ickwell May Day Committee


Updated 10th January 2020

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