May Day is a day of celebrating spring and a Hannibal Parks & Recreation nature program picks up the old tradition of May Day Baskets. People would leave a paper basket or cone with spring flowers and sweets on each other’s doorsteps, usually anonymously.

May Day Baskets nature program will be 10 a.m. to noon May 1 at Admiral Coontz Recreation Center.

Participants are encouraged to bring flowers from their garden, ribbon and a basket or small vase or jar to prepare a May Day bouquet. Gale Rublee, Hannibal Parks & Recreation nature educator, said that back in the 19th and 20th centuries, people rang in the first of May with the tradition of May Day baskets. “They would take flowers they had gathered at the end of April’s showers, arrange them in pretty paper along with gifts and candies, and hang them on the doors of friends and neighbors as a way of welcoming them into warmer weather.”

Rublee has more than 25 years of experience as a nature educator. She is a founding member of the Mississippi Hills Master Naturalists chapter in Hannibal and is coordinator and teacher for the Bluff City Theater Youth Education in Theater Initiative.

Hannibal Parks & Recreation nature programs are free but space is limited and reservations are required by calling Hannibal Parks & Recreation at 221-0154 or emailing