Review and photos by: Janel Spiegel
Event Review: Gallows Hill Spirits Co. Presents: Beltane
A celebration of Beltane on May 1, 2022.
Have you ever been somewhere with people, and do you feel like you’ve been there before? I know, deja vu, okay. Every time I walk into Gallows Hill Spirits Co. I feel like I’ve been there in another life, I imagine it back then as a little speakeasy, or a shop full of creative people lover of the earth, and the spirits.
Gallows is located at 2208 South 12and Street, Allentown, PA 18103. May 1, 2022 Gallows hosted the Beltane Ritual. “Beltane is a pagan festival and one of the eight Sabbats. It falls midway between the vernal equinox (Ostara) and the next summer solstice, Litha. The festival celebrates spring at its peak and summer to come. Beltane is also sometimes called May Day. This holiday is very strongly associated with fertility for pagans.
The event was hosted by Chris Bogden, Korie Urban, Reverend Bea and Gallows Hill Spirits Co. owner Bob Piano. The event was absolutely breathtaking, peaceful, the energy in the room could have uplifted all of Pennsylvania.
I know some people think and maybe gasp… “witches!” No, no, no, they are wonderful people who celebrate life, mother earth, each other, the happiness of being together. They praise Mother Earth as she should be, we humans are not always so kind to her.
It was an evening of renewal, a new beginning for some of us. They crowned a May King and a May Queen (Congratulations to our friend Michael as May King.)
We all participated in dancing around the pole of May and yes on May 1stst is also known as May Day to some. It’s also Happy Birthday to some people at RAD. The ritual was performed at the altar which was set up. It was all positive and the people are so uplifting and positive. It’s hard to walk into Gallows and say, oh shit, I’m going to be bored and disappointed. This would NEVER happen.
Owner and awesome human, Bob Piano also did the Salem Witch Trial Tour for everyone. If you’ve never been to Gallows I don’t know what you are doing, but you should at least stop by for a spirit or the tour. Bob’s family are descendants of Samuel Wardwell, he became known as the Soothsayer of Andover.
Bob delivers this tour with pure enthusiasm. I can’t imagine, as a lot of people told him tonight, how much it means to them. The pain and suffering that those women and men murdered for being accused of witchcraft might even have felt. Bob delivers it beautifully every time. I’m surprised it’s not muffled or overwhelmed.
Gallows has also cooked up a new menu with everything from a new Pickle Martini, Orange Julius, Lemon Lavender Gin Fizz. For the rest of the menu, you have to go visit. There are lots of events, including Music Trivia Bingo with the absolutely awesome DJ Bluto, he also does Trivia on Wednesdays, he does weddings, parties, and more. (Music Bingo is every Friday night now.)
Gallows also hosts Make ‘N Take events.
Gallows makes his own spirits. You can buy spirits to take away.
Gallows is also the host of Paint like Bob Ross. It really is a one of a kind place. The people you meet are simply amazing. There is an authenticity about Gallows that I have yet to find elsewhere. The amazing souls who make the drinks, tend the bar, help and go above and beyond for the customers. You don’t even feel like a simple customer, you feel like you’re among friends, and you’re all having a great time.
After the coronation of King and Queen Maypole we continued to celebrate Beltane with the lighting of Bel’s fire at dusk. We did everything, dance, sing, shake random instruments that everyone brought. Then the Peeps came out. You know the infamous Peeps marshmallows. Michael led everyone to the Bel fire to roast Peeps marshmallows.
It was the perfect end to an already enchanting day and evening. Gallows is a captivating place.
(Big thanks to Dean dressing up as Darth Vader. It was nice to meet and see you and your incredibly talented wife.)
“Everyone is welcome to celebrate Beltane on May Day, May Day at Gallows Hill Spirits, from 6 p.m.
It is no coincidence that this holiday falls at a time when Mother Earth is springing up with new life. Join us as we practice the traditions of antiquity.
It will be an evening of renewal, offering many elements with ardor.
Sacrility, as we prepare an altar for the Sabbath.
Rejoicing, as we weave the brilliant colors around the Maypole in search of a May Queen and May King.
Reflection, because we offer participants the opportunity to give birth to an aspect of their own life such as projects, relationships or growth with the energies of the season.
Purifying, as we light the pyre at dusk for Bel’s fire and infuse awakened desires with the magical mist of her smoke.
Freedom, with music, dance and the joy of a new beginning.
All are welcome, attendees can come from a variety of traditions of pagan ways, curious revelers who come to experience an alternative spirituality, energetic and light workers seeking community adding intention to the season, and anyone in between of them.
The format of the evening will include educational explanations of the tradition, ritual and meaning of Beltane.
WHAT TO BRING:
– Garden chair
– Music instrument
– Dress for the occasion
– Fund for Spirits, a snack if you wish
Beltane ceremonies and activities will take place outdoors. Do not hesitate to dress for the occasion with bright, light, flowery or fiery outfits. Visits including the ancestral pagan history of the site included.
Please bring a lawn chair for comfortable participation during and between activities.
Bring small hand instruments to play and dance with (shakers, tambourines, hand drums, etc.).
Teenagers are welcome, but must always be accompanied by a parent/legal guardian.
Festive libations will be available at our host site, Gallows Hill Spirits. Special “Witch’s Tea Party” and “Spring Issue” cocktails will be available. Please support them as a sponsor. You can bring light meals or a snack to enjoy with your craft drink.
Be sure to check out Gallows Hill Spirits Co.