Anyone can run 26.2 miles for the Boston Marathon—but only Wellesley seniors may scramble down Tupelo Lane with their hoops every May.
Hoop-rolling began as an activity once held on May Day. May Day was a day of frivolity and child's play to escape from real-world worries. Students celebrated by dressing up in children's clothing and playing games on Severance Green. One of the most popular was the hoop rolling race.
Hoop-rolling has become a Wellesley institution in itself and is now held independently in late May.
Traditional Schedule of Events
Little Sisters (underclasswomen) camp out the night before the event to hold a spot for their Big Sisters (upperclasswomen) on Tupelo Lane.
Hoops are passed down to seniors or provided by Cafe Hoop—and then are decorated.
Come morning, the seniors arrive—dressed for success in their Commencement gowns and class colors.
At a signal, the seniors race down the lane, pushing their hoops with a wooden stick.
Back in the day, it was proclaimed that whoever won the Hoop Roll would be the first to get married. In the status-seeking 1980s, she was the first to be CEO. Now we just say that the winner will be the first to achieve happiness and success, whatever that means to her.
The winner is carried away by her Wellesley Sisters...
...and has the honor of being thrown into Lake Waban.