Pilgrimage filled with hoop dreams

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, March 7, 2000

Big dresses are the dreams of little girls. Anna Lee McKay got to live that dream as she climbed into her Pilgrimage pageant dress and back into history.

&uot;It’s fun, I love having the dress on.&uot; McKay said as seamstress Sandra Stoker pulled and tucked the material around her waist.

McKay is one of many girls who will wear a dress with a hoop skirt to perform in the pageant for Pilgrimage this year.

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&uot;It feels like a big bell,&uot; she said. And as she peered over her shoulder to view the dress from another angle, the big hoop swung forward.

For several months before pageant, McKay and other fourth and fifth grade girls and boys practice the Big Maypole, one of the tableaux in the performance.

Meanwhile sewing machines are making stitches in time, creating dresses that resemble those of the 1800s.

&uot;It’s not the style today,&uot; she said.

And with that she whisked the big skirt and shuffled her feet and the shop became her stage.

Underneath layers of lavender material, draped with bows and fastened with flowers, Anna Lee wore the weight of metal hoops. Anna Lee danced back to the mirror doing turns and watched as her dress moved in time, as if it was dancing with her. The girls practice in their hoops to get used to the weight and movement of the big skirts.

&uot;It’s a big ole bow too,&uot; she said as she arched her back and took in the view from yet another angle.

&uot;That’s my hobby — I like to dress up in different dresses and put on a show for my family.&uot;

But without stopping long to admire her dresses she took off again, floating across the floor as if in a dream.

Through the viewfinder is a weekly feature produced by The Democrat’s photography staff to reflect the diversity in our community.