All Schools Day-May pole dance
The May pole dance sculpture located outside the McPherson Community Building’s north-west plaza in McPherson, Kansas was installed on April 26-27, 2022.
The monument consists of five life size bronze children dancing around a twelve foot tall aluminum May pole, two granite tablets and two granite benches. Each of the playful bronze kids are gripping colored streamers in which they crisscross around the pole. The children, ages 8-13 are the central design within the plaza. Two seven foot tall black granite tablets have images and text that highlight past events. Today, the annual event gathers up to 30,000 people from neighboring communities. Each of the two benches holds a six inch diameter porcelain tile that illustrates the All Schools Day button designs; one from 2002 and one from 2022.
The community celebrated its first graduation ceremony with an event that honored 8th graders in 1914. Since then, it has grown into the largest annual celebration in the state of Kansas that recognizes high school and college graduates from McPherson and neighboring communities.
McPherson Mayor Tom Brown spearheaded the project in order to preserve some of the rich and unique history of McPherson. The May pole dance sculpture is installed in the opposite plaza of the Globe Refiners outside the community building where the first Olympic Gold medal winning basketball team used to practice in the mid-1930s.