Northwestern University

MAYFEST & ‘DILLO DAY’


To celebrate the end of the school year, Mayfest is a weekend long celebration highlighted by Armadillo Day or “Dillo Day.” Mayfest is rooted as far back as the 1890s, when students celebrated the “renunciation of the May Queen of the temporal world for a spiritual one.” The Crowning of the May Queen, a formal Cotillion, student choir concerts and a Maypole dance were all historical elements to Mayfest at Northwestern. ‘Dillo Day’ began in 1972 when a group of Northwestern students from Texas held a celebration in honor of their state’s native creature, the Armadillo.

Today, Mayfest is technically the name of the organization that produces ‘Dillo Day,’ which is an all-day Saturday event on the lakefront comprised of live bands, food vendors and games. The month of May leading up to ‘Dillo Day’ is sprinkled with various events such as water balloon fights, battle of the bands and sing-alongs.