On Sunday, May 21, 2017 Cattywampus Puppet Council will bring Knoxville its first-ever giant puppet parade, The Appalachian Puppet Pageant, as part of this spring’s Open Streets in East Knoxville.
The Appalachian Puppet Pageant will be an East Tennessee inspired community puppet parade. It will bring together members of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate the ecology and culture of the region through visual and performance art, and feature puppets up to 12 feet tall. Community members will craft individual and collaborative pieces, and create a living, breathing art exhibit in the streets of Knoxville. Participation in the parade is free and open to people of all ages.
Both Cattywampus and Open Streets invite the community to come play together. From 2-6 PM that Sunday, Knoxvillians are invited to walk, parade, bike, jog or dance their way through the streets. Magnolia Ave., from Randolph St. to North Chestnut St., with a small loop onto East Depot Ave. will be closed to all motorized traffic, allowing revelers a day of playing, exercising, socializing, and shopping all on foot or two wheels. The parade will kick off the event at 2pm and traverse the entire route. Open Streets Knoxville, hosted by Bike Walk Knoxville with support from the City of Knoxville, Knoxville Regional TPO, Visit Knoxville and Knox County, aims to promote physical activity and community interaction during this free community event.
To prepare for the Appalachian Puppet Pageant, Cattywampus has been holding free puppet building workshops throughout the community. Workshop dates and resources for learning how to build a giant puppet for the parade can be found on Cattywampus’s website. The group is also looking for volunteers for the day of the parade, as well as donations of supplies and financial support. Information about donating or getting involved with the parade is available on the group’s website at https://cattywampuspuppetcouncil.com/appalachian-puppet-pageant/
Open Streets Knoxville is still looking for Sponsors and Activity Providers as well. Activity providers are asked to provide programming, with emphasis on interactive, fun activities that promote physical activity, health, the outdoors, community, and safety. The free and family-friendly activities hosted by activity providers help make Open Streets Knoxville an enriching and fun experience for participants. To find out more, visit www.openstreetsknoxville.com.
Cattywampus Puppet Council was founded in 2014 by local artists Rachel Milford and Shelagh Leutwiler. They are a registered non-profit corporation in the state of Tennessee and are fiscally sponsored through Community Shares. The mission of Cattywampus is to strengthen community and promote play through the puppetry arts. They do this through creating original shows, workshops, and puppet parades, involving members of the community of all ages and backgrounds. Their goal is to foster dialogue, laughter, wonder, and healing along the way. More information about Cattywampus is available at http://www.cattywampuspuppetcouncil.com.