"The May Fete had been a feature of the University year since 1909; begun as a modest and traditional event, it was presented in the gymnasium or on the lawn north of Merrifield Hall until it fell into the hands of Nell Martindale, who joined the faculty in 1917 as head of women's physical education. She quickly expanded the festival into a spectacular dance-drama, a huge affair of elaborate sets and as many as five hundred performers, requiring weeks, even months, to prepare. In 1923 the production moved to the refurbished Bankside, abandoned long before by the Playmakers. An estimated five thousand people attended the May Fete of 1926; hailed as the 'most magnificent production ever given at the University,' it was developed around the theme of The Rubaiyat. The fetes ended abruptly when Miss Martindale resigned in 1927 to be married. Her successor looked upon them as expensive luxuries of little use for purposes of physical education and turned to an annual dance or ballet performance in the gymnasium."
Source: University of the Northern Plains: A History of the University of North Dakota, 1883-1958 by Dr. Louis Geiger.