What does it look like when a whole town comes out to play, and invites people from all over to join us?
It looks something like what you see above — the annual two-day international puppet festival held in Almonte, Ontario, which has a population of 5,000 and is a half-hour drive from Canada’s capital, Ottawa.
We dropped by earlier today to join in the festivities of this remarkable event — now in its ninth year — and revel in the art of play and fun.
Over the festival weekend, some 10 puppet troupes offer 60 separate puppet performances in five venues — some in tented theatres and others in the historic buildings of downtown Almonte. Most of the shows are geared to the younger set but there is even an adult-oriented puppet show in the evening! And the festival welcomes performers from across Canada, the United States and this year Hungary.
Shopkeepers and vendors also set up little tents along Mill street where you can buy refreshments and all manner of puppet-related and fun items. You can have your face painted and play dress up in a special area.
The amount of volunteer work donated by local townsfolk to make this weekend possible is incalculable. But the festival is a real source of pride for Almonte residents. And I think it’s particularly great that the two things that Almonte is mainly known for — basketball and puppets — are both all about fun and play!