EDITOR’S NOTE: Our family has been attending The Puppets Up! festival for the past few years and it is one of our favourite local events. Almonte is about a 20 minute drive northwest of Stittsville. At the very least you should check out the free daily parade, Saturday and Sunday at 1:45pm.
Two shows you should check out include the Intergalatic Creature Band (think Cantina Band in Star Wars) from Rhode Island. They feature life-size puppets and masks combining stand-up comedy, Sci-Fi, Go-Go dancing, daredevil stunts, soap opera hysterics and professional wrestling with live rock & funk music and audience-interactive improvisation. There’s also the Tanglewood Marionettes, a duo from Massachusetts who perform at the festival most years. Their show is called The Dragon King, a tale of a wise old grandmother who journeys to the bottom of the sea to seek the Dragon King. We saw it last year and it was great.
Here’s a press release from the organizers about what’s in store this weekend.
Puppets Up! International Puppet Festival is back for an 11th incredible year in 2015 and has some exciting news for their fans! For the first time ever, Puppets Up! is offering an “appe-teaser” on Friday August 7th to their main course, held as usual on the weekend.
From 11:00am to 5:00pm on Friday August 7th, puppet shows will be presented in the theatre of the Old Town Hall and in the Riverside tent venue, just outside. Pigs in a Canoe and Other Watery Tales (in English and French) presented by WP Puppet Theatre from Calgary, Alberta, and Peter and the Wolf by Iceland’s renowned puppeteer Bernd Ogrodnik will be appearing in the Old Town Hall venue, while in the Riverside tent, it’s That’s Laughtertainment! by Matthew Romain from Windsor, Ontario and Animal Adventure presented by Rock the Arts from Ottawa.
Out on the street, you’ll find Zip-E the clown who has an amazing new dinosaur puppet to show you, and of course, Nick the mascot waiting to welcome you. Brad Wood, of B-Radical Balloons, will also be on hand to twist balloons into any shape imagineable.
At 11:00am and 1:30pm, you can participate in the music and puppetry of Lois Siegel and the Fiddle Chicks from Ottawa. And… if you’re hungry, line up at the Almonte Civitan BBQ for a tasty hot dog or hamburger (also available on Saturday and Sunday)
Over the course of the remainder of the weekend, there will be a total of 12 puppet troupes presenting shows in 6 theatres around the town of Almonte, parades on each of the weekend days in the early afternoon, along with many other attractions. Local artisans and food vendors will tempt you with their offerings and the wonderful restaurants and stores on Mill Street are just a short walk away. On Saturday morning from 8:30 to 12:30 there is even a Farmer’s Market in the parking lot of the Library to tempt you!
Puppets Up is once again presenting its legendary Saturday Night adults-only cabaret. The daytime acts will let their hair down and allow the puppets to say and do whatever comes into their tiny, fuzzy heads….and after performing all day in the hot sun, they want to let it all hang out. This features all the daytime puppet troupes, some special guests and few uninvited weirdos that get past security. It’s uncensored, unrehearsed and unpredictable. Hosted once again by Dill, a suave, debonair, and usually frazzled tuxedo-clad armadillo. As they say – “Only in Almonte!”
Showtimes, family-friendly ticket prices, along with detailed information for all of the weekend events can be found on the website at: www.puppetsup.ca