The official website of Visit Ards and North Down

Merry May Day

Holywood Town Centre, Holywood, County Down, BT18 9AB
May Day Graphic with text Free Family fun, Holywood 6 May 10am - 4pm


** Please note, this event took place on 6 May 2024. These are some of the activities that took place. Keep an eye on this page for exciting details of the 2025 event **


Holywood District Community Council organise Merry May Day with support from Ards and North Down Borough Council.

Always a popular family day out, the Merry May Day celebrations have become a long tradition in the bustling gateway town of Holywood.

The town will be transformed into a pedestrianised hub of activity. Expect delicious savoury and sweet treats on offer from a food stall market.

Enjoy funfair rides, the annual Bonnie Baby Competition as well as a fantastic Maypole Programme. Browse and buy from the bric-a-brac stalls, and from our wonderful artists and makers at Art on the Rails.

Musical performances will add to the ambience of a great day out, and of course the display of dance by local school children around the Island's only Maypole is a highlight!

Children are encouraged to dress up as their favourite fictional character for the fancy dress competition.

Maypole Programme 

10:45am             Crowning of May Queen
11:00 - 11:30         Maypole Dancers
11:45 - 12:15         McEIhinney School of Dance
12:30 - 12:45         Fancy Dress Comp (favourite fictional character) + prize givings
13:00 - 13:30         Maypole Dancers 
13:45 - 14:00         Holywood Community Set Dancing Class 
14:15 - 14:45         Sullivan Prep Choir  

Free to attend [Please note: Charges apply for stall purchases and for some attractions]. 


We encourage visitors to travel via public transport.  Please dispose of rubbish at the recycling stations provided.

Read more about Sustainability


Getting here

Public transport - nearest rail stop is Holywood, located approx a 10 minute walk from the town centre. For bus stop detail and information on timetables, visit

By car - Follow directional road signs to Holywood.

Car parking | Ards and North Down Borough Council | Free to use | Charged

Event site | Useful information

Road closures | Please note, there will be some disruption to traffic in Holywood on Friday 3 May between 9am and 11am, as preparations/practice for May Day’s Maypole dancing are taking place. Road Closures will also be in effect on May Day, Monday 6 May 2024 to facilitate the May Day event. Holywood Town Centre will be closed from 6am – 6pm including High Street, Church Road and Shore Road.

Lost children and Vulnerable adults | With crowds anticipated please pick up a wristband, which you can add a contact number to, at the Market Research/Information Point located on High Street, close to the Maypole.

Recycling | When disposing of rubbish please use the three recycling stations when on-site. Two located on High Street and one on Hibernia Street. Please note, the usual waste bins on-site will not be in use during the event. Please help us continue our sustainability commitment to zero contamination at events by using the correct bin. There will be team members from Recycling on hand to provide advice and help you put your rubbish in the correct bin.

Accessibility | All flat surfaces on hard concrete. Accessoloo will be in attendance, located near Tesco Express, High Street. Assessoloo is a toilet facility for disabled people that has the right equipment, including Adult Changing Table, Ceiling Hoist, Lavatory, Grab Rails, Hot and Cold Running Water and Heating and Lighting. 

Toilets | There are public toilets situated on Hibernia Street.

First Aid | There will be two First Aid Points situated at both ends of High Street.

Dogs | Well behaved dogs are welcome under the supervision of their owners and should remain on lead at all times.


Please note, details subject to change.

Follow our facebook page or sign up to our ezine for updates.

[Please note, photography and videography may take place at some/all of these events].

Guide Prices

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Call direct on:

Tel+44 (0)28 9127 0069

Map & Directions

Opening Times

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