1.  Top Quality Shows!

Puppets Up! has been in the business of entertaining audiences for over 13 years. With this summer’s revival, we’re bringing back an exciting mix of old favourites (like the hilarious The Banana Kid from Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers and Tim Holland, Stunt Ventriloquist!) as well as new or updated shows from returning performers (The Joshua Show from NYC’s Joshua Holden, Tanglewood Marionettes’ The Dragon King, Rock the Arts Puppets’ The Good Vibe Tribe, and PuppetmongersCinderella in Muddy York).

Puppets Up! is also pleased to present from DerRic Starlight (DerRic Starlight Show) a gifted Indigenous performer who worked on the latest iteration of Fraggle Rock – his cast of Nuppets are hilarious and endearing. Enchanting international shows from Iceland’s Bernd Ogrodnik (Metamorphosis), Indonesian-Canadian performer Sutrisno Hartana (Wayang Kulit), and Bulgarian-Canadian troupe Théâtre Puzzle (Bois and Plastique) show that laughter and artistry have no borders. Those looking to peek behind the curtain of the world of puppet performing should also check out Jamie Shannon‘s session The Making of Mr. Meaty and Nanalan.

Lastly, the theatre team from Almonte District High School have revived the production of Peter Pan which toured the Edinburgh Fringe Festival – same great puppets, fun new voices! These performances are a great introduction to live theatre and puppetry for young families, and a treat for puppet lovers of all ages. The majority of our shows are held twice daily, except for special lectures and one-off performances.

The Banana Kid and fellow cowboy puppets against a blue cloudy sky. Come see us at Puppets Up!

The Banana Kid!
Photo: Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers

Stunt Ventriloquist Tim Holland beneath a tent, juggling multiple items on a unicycle. He is wearing a top hat.

Stunt Ventriloquist! At Puppets Up!
Photo: Rowan Warner








2. Street entertainment

Whether you want to actively heckle our streetside puppeteers or enjoy a musical show from the sidelines, there’s plenty of action at Puppets Up!

Zip-E the clown at Puppets Up!

Zip-E the Clown at Puppets Up!
Photo: Monika Seiler

This year will include appearances from The Balcony Puppeteers (sans balcony!), Short Attention Spa! (improv comedy from Prince Edward County), Zip-E the Clown (a hometown fave!), John Lockhart (juggler extraordinaire) and light jazz music by The Somerset Combo. You’ll also have the chance to experience an original piece of street theatre, The Magnolia Thief, written and performed by Almonte District High School students (they were mentored by Noreen Young and we hear really good things about this project).

This year, our festival site is in the core of downtown, focusing on the Alameda, a beautiful walkway through town, the Almonte Old Town Hall and the Library and its grounds. Some of our street entertainers will be strolling, others will be onstage at a new pavilion at the corner of Mill and Bridge Streets. The site will be festively decorated, as will our downtown core on Mill Street (under construction but open and accessible on foot!) The ground is largely level and the site is largely accessible for wheelchair and stroller users. There are shady spots available for

A sea of puppet heads at the Puppets Up Marketplace

A previous marketplace at Puppets Up!
Photo: Monika Seiler

picnics, a new food court at the Almonte Old Town Hall, and our marketplace puppet vendors will be sharing space with the Almonte Farmer’s Market. Plus! The Community Pizza Oven will be running with proceeds to the Mississippi Mills Youth Centre, so you will want to bring cash for our vendors.





3. Puppet parade

A large dinosaur puppet looms over the crowd

Dinos on Parade!
Photo: Brent Eades

Our Puppet Parade is the heart of the festival. Starring an amazing cast of puppeteers, volunteers, drummers, dancers, jugglers, giant puppets, riders, rollers, mascots, and kids from the craft tent (read on for more!), the Puppet Parade is the most colourful and lively spectacle you will see all summer. The route this year is a loop around the Alameda, Bridge Street, and Reserve Street, offering plenty of places to get a good spot to watch, and plenty of photo ops, too. The Parade takes place once a day at approximately 1:45 pm on Saturday and Sunday – all shows stop during the parade, so you won’t miss anything!



4. Kids’ craft tent

The Craft Tent is your chance to get creative at Puppets Up! We supply the materials; you supply the imagination!

A woman with a pink headband bends down with her matching puppet towards 2 little kids.

Meet the puppets!
Photo: Brent Eades

This is a great opportunity for you to get hands on with the process of puppet creation and animation – our shady puppet tent on the grounds of the Mississippi Mills Library (Almonte Branch) includes Mini Theatres and play opportunities to encourage puppeteering and to give kids and their families the chance to use the puppets they just made. Participants are also encouraged to join the parade (there’s a place for everyone) with their puppets if they feel ready.

Plus! Jamie Shannon, the brains and hands behind Nanalan’ and Mr. Meaty, is going to teach people how to make potato puppets in the craft tent … inquire within for specific times.

5. The 18+ Cabaret

Have you ever attended a jam session where the performers are showing off for themselves and their friends? Now imagine that with puppets! The Saturday Nigh Puppet Cabaret is an adults-only, raucous, riotous display of talent that is exclusive to Puppets Up! These one-of-a-kind performances range from the sublime to the ridiculous – past performances have included exquisite marionette artistry, “naked” hand puppets, world premieres of new puppets and ideas, but also puppet stripteases. If you’re a fan of the art of puppetry, do not miss this unforgettable evening event, which is not included with the day passes!

Please note that our other adult performance, The Loonie Bin by Ronnie Burkett, is sold out.

+ Bonus: Almonte! 

Let’s not lose sight of our beautiful site! Almonte, in the heart of Mississippi Mills, is a lovely small town on the banks of the Mississippi River (pack your swimsuits – there’s a beach at the Almonte Fairgrounds and a splash pad at Gemmill Park). Downtown Almonte has scenic views, charming shops and friendly locals all ready to welcome you.

While Mill Street is under construction, it is accessible on foot. We have delicious food, an amazing selection of clothing and antique shops, and remarkable shoe selections. We have a stunning array of galleries and craft shops. Do check out the bookstore, the bakery, the ice cream shop and the florist. This might be your first visit but we’re sure it won’t be your last. Before you leave town, don’t miss out on the award-winning chocolate, home-made doughnuts, and local vodka, coffee and brewery.

Tickets and Admission

Admission to our tents, shows and activities are covered by our daily passes (early bird passes available for a limited time), except the Saturday Night Puppet Cabaret, which requires a separate (18+) ticket for admission. While the street entertainment, parades, food court and marketplace are open to all, your support is what will keep the festival going. Please note that our Friday schedule is offered at a discount, centres on two sites within the festival, and offers a more limited program. For the Festival experience, we recommend attending on Saturday, Sunday — or both! Tickets are available in advance from our ticketing partner, Tickets Please, and at the festival entrance on the days of the festival.

Please note: our official parking site is at the Almonte Fairgrounds, short walk from the main site, and additional parking is available at the Almonte Arena and Gemmill Park, about a ten-minute walk away. A limited amount of parking will be available on Brae Street in the core of Almonte.


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