Join StoneLion Puppet Theatre in a creative new spectacle for our amazing planet. The first-ever handmade parade invites the community to take to the streets in costume and masks alongside its famous giant puppets with street bands, hand-pulled floats, and art. The event culminates in a vibrant dance party and water festival that celebrates our only planet, Earth.
The festival event, Our Blue Planet – A Handmade Parade, will be held Sunday, June 4 at 2 p.m. in the historic 18th and Vine District of Kansas City, MO.
StoneLion Puppet Theatre has been delighting and inspiring children and adults with giant puppet performances for over 30 years, including the recent Puppets a Glow-Go drive-thru art experience with the National WWI Museum that attracts over 10,000 visitors.
This new event invites all ages to not just watch, but join the parade and festival in handmade costumes and masks.
“It is handmade anything to celebrate the planet,” said Heather Nisbett-Loewenstein, artistic director of StoneLion Puppet Theatre. “Join in or watch to show that we can all step up and help the planet.”
Joining the fun is easy, as StoneLion Puppet Theatre invites everyone to participate in an open studio workshop, or to create magical creations at home.
Sharing the magic of puppetry
Since March, the theatre has been hosting studio workshops to create costumes and masks, and to help lend a hand in crafting the giant puppets. The free events were very popular with families and volunteers who transformed repurposed materials into nature-inspired, colorful masks and puppets.
“Some incredible things have been created. A pair of sisters made a penguin mask and sperm whale hat. And, grandparents brought in their granddaughters – they were not crafty people, but they helped make horse masks from soda cans,” Nisbett-Loewenstein said. “One kid was insistent on making a mouth puppet and we did it. He made a 4-foot-tall penguin and said it was his dream come true.”
The last studio workshop will be held on Sunday, May 21 from 1 – 4 p.m. If you can’t make it to a workshop, you can still make your own magical creations at home.
Celebrating water with music and dance
The parade will travel a short route, “accommodating the little legs of enthusiastic participants alongside the towering giant puppets,” as the theatre describes it.
The 18th and Vine district will serve as the parade’s grand finale, offering a welcoming space for families to immerse themselves in the festivities. The district’s vibrant atmosphere, with attractions like the American Jazz Museum, adds an extra touch of excitement to the occasion.
Live bands will include the Mid-America Freedom Band, KC Riddem Crewe, and the Sassafras Band.
The parade ends at the Gregg/Klice Community Center for a Water Festival with music and other family activities.
The festival aims to emphasize the significance of clean water and art activities while highlighting the importance of keeping pollutants out of the storm drain.
It is supported by KC Water, Arts KC, and the Mid-America Regional Council Stormwater Education program and is co-hosted with KC Parks and the 18th & Vine district.
Sparking conversations and participation for the planet
The impact of this event goes beyond the enchanting puppets and colorful parade.
StoneLion Puppet Theatre promotes reusing and repurposing materials, sparking discussions on reducing waste. These conversations have proven to be impactful, creating a sense of shared responsibility and demonstrating the fun and joy that can be found in sustainable practices.
“Art engages your emotions to help you care and to step up and help. It’s not only the parade, but the one-on-one conversations during our workshops that have been so impactful – reflecting on how we use resources and packaging, but how we can reuse and reduce,” Nisbett-Loewenstein said.
“We are trying to create the emotional connection between our planet and our communities, and have a lot of fun doing it.”
To learn more about the event and how to get involved, visit stonelionpuppets.org.
More about StoneLion Puppet Theatre
StoneLion Puppet Theatre, is a professional non-profit theater company based in Kansas City that has been producing world-class puppetry for over three decades. With a repertoire that includes marionettes, masks, shadow, mouth, and rod puppets, it brings the enchantment of puppet shows to audiences ranging from intimate groups to large crowds of 20,000 or more across the U.S. and beyond.
StoneLion Puppet Theatre collaborates with environmentalists, educators, ecologists, and scientists, serving as a vehicle to deliver crucial information to the community and promote positive change.
Mark your calendars for the handmade parade on June 4, get your creative juices flowing, and be part of this extraordinary celebration that combines artistry, community, and a shared commitment to protecting our precious water resources.