Celebrating 50 Years of Mayfest
Fort Worth’s favorite riverside jamboree is returning to Trinity Park next month with 50 candles atop its cake and big plans to make up for lost time. The beloved Mayfest, a four-day family festival that celebrates all things community and outdoors, was cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. But this two-year respite has allowed the team at Trinity Collaborative, Inc., the nonprofit organization that produces this event, to plan the most extravagant extravaganza in Mayfest’s five-decade history.
This year’s festival experience is tailored to patrons of all ages and will feature seven stages devoted to music and live entertainment from local artists, music schools and dance companies; a children’s area with free arts and crafts stations; exhibits; an art and gift market; a craft beer and wine garden; food vendors that serve the classics and the atypical; and carnival rides and attractions sure to meet every adventure level. To put it plainly: there is something to do, eat and drink for everyone at Mayfest.
The origin of this festival dates to May 1, 1973, when a group of organizations that are still present today (Junior League, Tarrant Regional Water District, Streams & Valleys, Inc., and the city of Fort Worth) wanted to host an event to celebrate the hard work and dedication that went into revitalizing and transforming the Trinity and its surrounding parks for the benefit of the community. Now, 50 years later, and Mayfest continues to give back. Trinity Collaborative donates the festival proceeds to the community in support of programs from three of Mayfest’s founding organization. So far, the nonprofit, whose mission is to connect people for a better river, better parks, and better community, has given $7.5 million to Fort Worth and its citizens.
Since it’s the 50th anniversary, Mayfest will commence with a bang (quite literally as there will be confetti cannons) on Thursday, May 5. Following a ribbon cutting and proclamation from Mayor Mattie Parker, festivalgoers in attendance on opening day will enjoy free admission, allowing you to save those dollars for a turkey leg or funnel cake, which, according to Emily Allison, associate director at Trinity Collaborative, Inc, “there are some foods that just taste better when you’re at Mayfest.” (Patrons should take note, however, that the 2022 festival will be cashless so all transactions must be made with a debit or credit card.)
Allison, who began as a Mayfest volunteer before joining the organization in 2014, acknowledges that while there are so many wonderful celebrations and events that take place in Fort Worth each year, there is something totally unique and special about this festival, from its location to its embrace of family and community.
“Mayfest is such a Fort Worth tradition. What I love about Mayfest is how much you get to work with the community. It’s about bringing people together. And we’re so lucky to have such a beautiful space,” said Allison.
Mayfest will take place Thursday, May 5 from 3:30 to 9 p.m., Friday, May 6 from 3:30 to 10 p.m., Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday May 8 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Additional festival information can be found online at mayfest.org/trinity-collaborative-inc.