Appalachian Puppet Pageant

The Appalachian Puppet Pageant is a giant puppet arts parade, bringing together community members of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate and share their stories through the visual and performing arts. 

We are excited to announce our 2018 parade date:

2nd Annual Appalachian Puppet Pageant

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

(Rain Date: Sunday, May 27th)

Route: MLK & Spruce to the Muse Knoxville (516 N. Beaman St)

Parade Line Up: 11am @  MLK & Spruce

Parade Kick Off: 12pm

Parade Festival: 1pm-4:30pm @   Chilhowee Park & Muse Knoxville

Theme: Our Roots, Our Power

To receive updates about the 2018 parade and find out more about volunteer opportunities, please sign up for our parade newsletter here.

Check out this beautiful video piece that East TN PBS put together 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 2018 Partners :

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 amongst 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.

2018 Parade Theme:  Our Roots, Our Power

For this year’s Appalachian Puppet Pageant, we invite you to explore how cultivating our creative voices can fuel our own individual and community-based power.  Where do we draw strength from? What images or stories help us feel powerful? How can connecting with our roots-our ancestors, the soil- ground us in our work of envisioning and creating healthier communities?  What lessons do they have to teach us? 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 where you come from, the stories you have to share, and the power we each possess.

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.