On August 10th and 11th, puppeteers from all over the world will descend on the beautiful town of Almonte, Ontario to provide world-class family entertainment both in the quaint theatres of the town and all through the streets. Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival offers a daily parade, a visitor-friendly festival site that provides plenty of activities for the little ones and, of course, the great local shops and festival vendors of Almonte.
In keeping with this year’s “Family Reunion” theme, many familiar faces will be back in Almonte for Puppets Up! Some of the most popular shows include The Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers from Bar Harbor Maine with their hilarious “Legend of the Banana Kid,” Massachusetts’ Tanglewood Marionettes and the exquisite “Dragon King.” Some new faces to the Puppets Up! family will be Toronto’s Heath Tarlin Entertainment’ with “Spin Cycle,” and Metaphysical Theatre with “Pierrot and the Moon.” For a full lineup, you can visit their site here.
My daughter and I went to Puppets Up! two years ago and it was an experience not to be missed. There was fun, food, friendly faces and of course puppets all over the streets of Almonte. There was an awesome puppet-theme parade during the event, featuring many costumed performers and some puppeteers helping their favourite marionettes walk along the route. The festival grounds held something for everyone including a kids puppet-making station, crafts, food and lots of fun. Last year, after the kids went to bed, there was be a special gala for adults on Saturday night held at the town hall with a pretty cool "puppet cabaret" show.
All the theatre venues are wheelchair and stroller accessible. Theatres are located within an easy stroll of each other, and there are plenty of shady places to sit for lunch and to let the children run in the grass. Children's single passes, adult single passes and weekend passes to the festival are available through online outlets and on-site at the festival gates. A day pass for Saturday or Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. for an adult is $20, children three-to-12 $10 and children under-three are free. For a weekend pass for both days, for adults it is $30, children three-to-12, $15 and children under-three are free.
Puppets Up! is an amazing experience for kids and adults of all ages. It’s definitely something not to be missed so get out your inner puppet and we’ll see you August 11th and 12th in beautiful Almonte!