Big Ears Parade

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Parade Handbill Front-English

Big Ears Parade & Street Party

Friday, March 31st, 2023

Street Party: 1-8pm

Saturday, April 1st, 2023

Parade Line Up: 12pm

Parade Kick Off: 1pm

Street Party: 2-8pm

6In spring of 2022, Cattywampus Puppet Council partnered with the Big Ears Festival to forge Krewe du Cattywampus, the festival’s inaugural parade, pairing giant puppets made by East Tennessee youth with musicians representing New Orleans’ and Haiti’s second line, rara, and kanaval traditions. 

We’re excited to fill our Knoxville streets again with art, joy, and revelry on Saturday, April 1st, 2023 and we want you to join us

Community members of all ages are invited to make giant puppets, masks, costumes, and other art and come together to parade as one.

Our people-powered Big Ears Parade will begin lining up at 12pm in the surface lot beneath James White Pkwy in the Old City and kick off at 1pm. This year’s route will end in a Street Party from 2-8pm at the Southern Railway Station with a mixture of local and Big Ears musical acts, kids’ activities, food trucks and more. Both the parade and street party are free and open to the entire community!

How to Get Involved

Sign up to be in the parade! This parade is open to the entire community. Individuals, families, schools, neighborhood groups, and organizations are all encouraged to participate. We are looking for folks to make masks, puppets, and costumes, as well as dancers and stiltwalkers. You are welcome to create your own entry or form your own parade crew and make something together. We’ll also have extra art available to carry if you simply want to join in the parade itself. All participants must register (It’s free!).

Make Art! This year’s parade theme is AMPLIFY! To turn up, raise up, uplift, magnify, make larger, greater, & stronger. For this year’s parade, we want y’all to make some noise! We want to hear our community’s voices, ideas, and visions for the future. What are the stories and relationships we wish to amplify together? Visit our “Resources” page for images, giant puppet making templates, and other instructions to get you started.

Or join us for 

Cattywampus Open Studio Days

@ The Cattywampus Clubhouse 

310 W. Jackson Ave, Suite 102

Sunday, March 19th~2-6pm: Giant Flag Making

Monday, March 20th~4-7pm: Parade Art Workday

Sunday, March 26th~2-6pm: Kids & Family Make n’ Take 

Monday, March 27th~4-7pm: Parade Art Workday

We’ll be hosting open maker space at the Cattywampus Clubhouse during the days leading up to the Big Ears Festival for community members to help work on big puppets for the parade, as well as make their own art to carry. We’ll have cardboard, paint, and some additional supplies available for making giant cardboard flats, flags, and noisemakers. Feel free to bring your own projects already in process. All ages are welcome! Masks are encouraged.

For questions or additional information please email Rachel Milford at

Street Party Info

As part of this year’s free community programming, Big Ears is hosting a 2-day Street Party at the Southern Railway Station on Friday, March 31st & Saturday, April 1st! Both days will feature FREE CONCERTS from various Big Ears and local artists, as well as food trucks and art & play activities for all ages.

Thank you to our 2023 Partners & Sponsors:


Cattywampus Puppet Council seeks 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.