The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Breaking News

Local News

April 30, 2014

Club beckons tradition, builds artistic maypole

SHARON — Most of us have tall tales we enjoy boasting about to friends. But the Apollo Maennerchor Club took it one step farther by erecting theirs.

Last Sunday club members hoisted a 30è-foot maypole they handcrafted in front of their Sharon club. A German and Austrian custom, the maypole is a tradition going back to the 16th century in which a colorful pole bearing artistic images of a town or region are showcased.

Known as a “Maibaum’’ in German, the word roughly translates as May tree to celebrate the arrival of spring. While Germans brought the tradition with them when settling in the U.S., the custom quietly began disappearing for much of the country after World War II.

With its strong German ties, the Maennerchor Club decided it was time to bring back the tradition, said Tom Amundsen, club president.

“In German towns the Maibaum is still celebrated as a festival for the arrival of spring,’’ Amundsen said. “Many cities compete with each other on their festivals.’’

Club member Jim Kapusta was given charge of the maypole committee, which went to work in January. Initially, they thought the pole should be made out of wood and had a utility pole at the ready. But eventually aluminum was favored as the material of choice.

“We tried to recycle as much as we could,’’ Kapusta said. “The pole came from the National Guard Armory in Farrell and we cleaned it and polished it up.’’

After that beat-up road signs were bought as scrap from the Mercer County Bridge Department and were sandblasted, cleaned and cut to produce a dozen figures atop the pole.

The figures showcase the area’s heritage and culture such as a steel mill, train, an Amish buggy, a canoe on a river and singers with beer mugs and pretzels.

Kapusta credited a large turnout of volunteers for making the maypole possible. Artisans and craftsmen worked on the maypole for several months, doing everything from cutting aluminum to painting. After completion the maypole was walked from a warehouse in Sharon to the club on Sunday.

Thanks to volunteers and donations, the maypole cost less than $1,000 to create, Kapusta said.

In keeping with German tradition, a family festival will be held at the club on Saturday. A beer keg-tapping ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. followed by the Maennerchor singers and the Peter Karsti Orchestra from 6 to 9 p.m. A traditional German sniztel dinner will be served for $10 and the event is open to the public.

Plans are in the works to make the event bigger next year.

“We’re talking about things like having a parade and making this a festive-type atmosphere,’’ Amundsen said.


Text Only
Local News
  • Doss: Public has right to know

    A major part of Farrell council’s work session Monday was spent deciding whether or not to inform the audience about an unofficial police proposal from the City of Sharon.

    July 30, 2014

  • Budget falling short despite tax hike

    Farrell residents may have seen an income tax increase this year, but the city isn’t seeing the extra dollars City Manager Michael Ceci budgeted for.

    July 30, 2014

  • oakwood graves 1 Resting together

    Visitors to Oakwood Cemetery would see many  familiar local names if they looked down the hillside to the left just inside the gate on Sharon’s North Oakland Avenue.

    July 30, 2014 3 Photos

  • Police: Kids in car were OK

    The mother of two young children was drunk and passed out when police found them all in a car parked along a city street, Sharon police said.

    July 29, 2014

  • To talk – or not – about police

    The mysterious agenda item, “No. 10,” at Farrell’s council meeting Monday became the center of a heated workshop and business session.

    July 29, 2014

  • Community thanks its first-responders

    Sharpsville honored its emergency responders Sunday at an event that included Mertz Towers residents as special guests.

    July 28, 2014

  • Drilling boom challenges state inspectors

    The state’s 83 well inspectors face a daunting enough challenge keeping tabs on 120,000 active oil and gas wells that have been drilled over the last century.

    July 28, 2014

  • Kidds Mill Covered Bridge A span of time

    Four generations of the Cadman family have enjoyed the Kidds Mill Covered Bridge, which is in Pymatuning Township near where the family’s ancestral farm is located.

    July 28, 2014 3 Photos

  • Intruder hurts woman, takes $5

    A home invasion in Hermitage Friday night sent an elderly woman to the hospital and netted the robber $5.

    July 27, 2014

  • national night out March against crime set for Aug. 5

    At the last Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Commission meeting, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. presented the number of incidents for each of the four communities in May.

    Farrell topped out at 819.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • high street trail Peaceful pathways

    History buffs and picnickers in the Shenango Valley won’t have to drive to Sharpsville to hang out at the old Erie Canal extension lock. They’ll soon have the option to walk or roll in on bicycles and even powered chairs to visit Canal Park near the outflow of Shenango Dam.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • balloonquest1 Balloon Quest celebrates 25 years

    Today is the final day of the 25th annual Western Pennsylvania Balloon Quest at Scotland Meadows Park.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from July 26, 2014

    Man faces bomb threat charges

    June building tops $4 million in Hermitage

    July 26, 2014

  • Elderly man survives plane crash

    An elderly man survived wrecking his plane into a bank, then landing into a wetland, about 200 feet south of Runway 28 at Grove City Regional Airport in Springfield Township on Friday.

    July 26, 2014

  • Dontae Rashad Pinkins Man arrested for April gunfight

    Federal marshals and local police arrested Dontae Rashad Pinkins Thursday on a warrant accusing him of involvement in an April gunfight with another man in a Sharon alley.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo