The much-beloved festival returned to Almonte after a six-year hiatus this summer

ALMONTE (October 21, 2022) – The Puppets Up! board of directors is pleased to announce that the festival is back to stay, after a successful return to the streets of Almonte August 12-14.

The full festival – complete with multiple performance venues, street entertainment and the popular puppet parade – will be held every second year, while the alternating years will focus on education and demonstrations, along with discussions about the craft and its future.

“This is the best possible way to pay tribute to the legacy of Noreen Young and further establish Almonte as the heart of Canada’s puppet industry,” said Jane Torrance, the festival’s executive director. “The launch of our education series in 2023 will give us a chance to expose more people to puppetry and puppet building as a craft and help seed a whole new generation of puppet performers!”

The festival’s successful return earlier this year saw an estimated 8,000 people take in 60 shows across five venues, along with dozens of street performances and the daily puppet parades through the heart of Almonte’s tree-lined alameda park. More than 200 volunteers stepped forward to help and performers came from as far away as Iceland and Indonesia along with those from across the USA and Canada.

“The whole world came to Almonte for 2022 and we know they’ll come back in 2024 but it was seeing Almonte’s own high school drama club on stage, sharing the bill with these global talents, that really made us think about how we can expand the reach of puppetry even more,” said Torrance. “And that’s how the education series was born!”

Further details about programming will follow in the coming weeks but the board is excited by the prospect of launching something new as part of Mississippi Mill’s bicentennial next year.

“It really is the perfect time to plant our flag and say ‘not only is Puppets Up back and here to stay, it’s going to be even bigger and better than before’ with these new events and programs,” said Torrance. “Almonte and puppets, it’s really the perfect pairing.”

Quick facts about Puppets Up 2022

  • The festival was held August 12-14, 2022, in downtown Almonte
  • 2022 marked the return of the festival after a six-year hiatus, having also ran from 2005-2016
  • More than 200 volunteers welcomed an estimated 8,000 visitors to the festival, which featured 60 ticketed performances by 13 troupes and performers across five venues.
  • Another dozen street performers entertained audiences all over the festival grounds, which also featured a children’s craft tent, an artisan marketplace and a food court
  • The festival met and exceeded fundraising and ticket sales targets, ensuring a solid financial footing from which the festival can carry on and grow

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