Appalachian Puppet Pageant

Cattywampus Puppet Council presents the

3rd Annual

Appalachian Puppet Pageant

A Giant Puppet Community Arts Parade

Saturday, May 11th, 2019

(Rain Date:  Sunday, May 18th)

Route: Walter Hardy Park to Paul Hogue Park

Parade Line Up @ 11am  &  Kick Off @ 12pm

Block Party:  1-4pm 

@ Paul Hogue Park & St. Luke’s Episcopal

(600 N. Chestnut St)

2019 Parade Theme:  I See You

To receive updates about the 2019 parade and find out more about volunteer opportunities, please sign up for our parade newsletter here.

Want to learn more about this parade? Check out this beautiful video piece that CTV Knoxville put together of the 2018 Parade here! You can also watch East TN PBS’s piece about Cattywampus & the 2017 Appalachian Puppet Pageant here.     

(section about the parade begins at 17 mins. in)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Thank you to our 2019 Partners & Sponsors:

What is the Appalachian Puppet Pageant?

The Appalachian Puppet Pageant is a giant puppet community arts parade organized by Knoxville-based arts nonprofit Cattywampus Puppet Council and rooted in East Knoxville that seeks to bring together community members of all ages and backgrounds to share their stories and collective concerns through the visual and performing arts, while playing together and raising power and joy as a community. The community is invited to make giant puppets, masks, costumes, and other art and parade together as one. This year the parade will conclude with a block party at Paul Hogue Park in partnership with St. Luke’s Episcopal and Our Community Organization, featuring live hip-hop, spoken word, and dance performances, as well as free kids activities, food trucks, garden activities, and more. Both the parade and block party are free and open to all!

Why a Parade?

The Appalachian Puppet Pageant seeks to strengthen community in the city of Knoxville, Tennessee and foster community-involvement in the arts through creating and playing together. Using the vehicle of artistic collaboration, we want to invite dialogue among all of our community’s voices, while also providing an opportunity for these voices to tell their stories of “place”.  We invite community members to create puppets, masks, and costumes that tell their stories and our community’s stories of strength, resilience, creativity, and power.

Community members are the driving force of this parade, crafting both individual and collaborative works of art and then joining together in celebration and play to share these living works of art with the rest of the community. The parade itself engages its participants and viewers, through all of their senses, as we create a living, breathing art exhibit and take it to the streets of Knoxville.

Why Puppets?

The medium of puppetry, specifically big puppets is an innately collaborative form of art. Creating puppets requires hours of construction and multiple hands, thus making it a perfect artistic medium for cultivating community. For many of us, the word “puppet” may conjure the image of a marionette or a sock with googly eyes. The world of puppetry arts, however, is a broad one and includes a wide range of styles and sizes, including backpack mounted puppets, gigantic parade style puppets, rod puppets, masks, costumes, etc. Simply defined a “puppet” is an inanimate object that is brought to life or animated by a human.  Materials can include bamboo, cardboard, paint, metal, fabric, papier mache, and whatever else your heart, mind, and hands can dream up. For this parade, we simply ask that all of your creations be handmade and people-powered. Our “Resources” page  is filled with images, templates, and instructions to get you started.

2019 Parade Theme:  I See You

The act of really seeing another person in all of their power, beauty, creativity, fire, and fabulousness, the act of offering them love and respect, allows that person to become their fullest, most authentic self. It helps them see their own power.

For this year’s Appalachian Puppet Pageant, we are asking our community to see one other and to embrace our liberations, our freedoms, as being intertwined. As a community and as individuals, how are we working together to fight against all oppressions? How does our work to undo racism or sexism or anti-semitism, also include dismantling classism, homophobia, and transphobia? What work do we have do to be able to really see and love one another? For this year’ parade, we ask you to envision yourself, your community, and the South as places of wholeness, strength, resiliency, beauty, humor, and artistry. We ask you to imagine what being your fullest self looks and feels like? As we come together to play and make for this year’s parade, as you design your collaborative and individual puppets and costumes, we invite you to honor and find inspiration in yourself, one another, and the path towards collective liberation.

Cattywampus Puppet Council and the Appalachian Puppet Pageant seek to strengthen community and achieve peace and justice through creating and playing together. We hold diversity itself as a value and nurture awareness of true community by welcoming people of differing races, ethnic origins, cultures, genders, ages, abilities, languages, economic and social backgrounds, sexualities, gender identities and expressions, political beliefs and religions, family styles and nationalities. We aim to create a safe, accepting and respectful environment where we can learn and grow together, honoring and embracing our individual and collective humanity.