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August 06, 2011

Puppets invade the town of Almonte (photos)

Just back from Puppets Up, a festival in Almonte, Ontario.  This is our new favourite Ottawa-area event.  You should go - it's only a 20 minute drive from Scotiabank Place, much of it is free, and it's great for families and grown-ups.  (The festival is on Saturday and Sunday this weekend.)

First of all, there are puppets EVERYWHERE.  They're walking down the streets, they're sitting in store fronts, they zip around on motorized scooters.  If you have a puppet, bring it with you.

Second of all, it's funny.  The humour's corny with lots of bad jokes and bad puns, but I loved it.  Sample: "What did one flea say to the other? Shall we walk or take the dog?".

Third, Mill Street.  That's the main street in downtown Almonte.  It's lined with beautiful old stone buildings, and it's the route for the daily puppet parade.  There's a balcony overlooking the town square and two puppets heckle passers-by.  While we were waiting for the parade to start, they cracked lines like "This parade entry is called 'woman with stroller'" and ""Maybe that dude with the baby on his head is float." Or to a guy dressed up as Darth Vader: "The sith's gonna hit the fan!"

I took a lot of photos and posted them here on my flickr account. Most of these are from the puppet parade, where all the puppet performers, community volunteers, and everybody else who has a puppet walks down Mill Street.  Here are some of my favourite pics from the day:

Old lady on a scooter
Old lady on a motorized scooter.
Old Scot on a scooter
Old Scot on a motorized scooter.

Darth Vader
Moments before, Darth was pointing a menacing finger at the balcony puppet hecklers.

If you're famous enough in Almonte, they make you a puppet doppleganger.

Gordon O'Connor, MP
Gordon O'Connor, Member of Parliament.

Orange walking thing
Puppets everywhere.

Heckling balcony puppets
These are the puppets that heckle from the balcony, with an abundance of corny humour.

Storefront puppet
There are puppets in just about every shop window.

Marionette guy
Marionettes too.

Puppet making a banana milkshake
This puppet made us a banana milkshake.

From the Ontario Puppetry Association
Puppets for sale...

Puppets on a clothesline
...and puppets on a clothesline.
See also: Ottawa Festivals Guide
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  1. So sorry I missed this! Your pictures are great, and I cracked up at the flea joke.

  2. Thanks Zoom! The bad puns were the best part.

  3. Great photos! As a retired teacher I still have puppets. My Sir John visited Sir John's museum and met his likeness!


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