On Sunday, May 21st, 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 is an East Tennessee inspired community arts 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 are invited to craft giant puppets, masks, and costumes that are rooted in the local ecology and stories of this region, as well as the culture of love, creativity, and mutual dependence we wish to foster in southern Appalachia.

Cattywampus Puppet Council has spent the past four months preparing for the parade, hosting multiple free giant puppet making workshops in Knoxville and working one on one with several community groups, helping them to make creations for the parade. These groups include the Birdhouse Community Center, Centro Hispano, the Vestal Boys and Girls Club, FYI Peer Educator Program, and The Carpetbag Theatre, amongst others. 

Parade Line up is at 1pm on the southwest corner of Magnolia Ave and Chestnut. The parade will commence at 2pm, kicking off Open Streets, and process down the entire Open Streets route, roughly 1.2 miles. Participation in the parade is free and open to people of all ages. For more parade info and to register, please visit www.cattywampuspuppetcouncil.com/appalachian-puppet-pageant/

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.