invites you to


Build a giant puppet (or a crowd of smaller puppets) and

join the Puppet Parade through the streets of Skipton this October

We’re looking for local community groups to build puppets and join in with the glorious musical

celebration that is the Puppet Parade. Build a giant puppet and come celebrate as over 6,000

people line the streets of our town for the spectacle.

When does it happen?

The Puppet Festival happens over the weekend of 29th September - 1st October 2017, here in

Skipton. The parade line-up is at 11am on Sunday 1st October at Ermysted’s Grammar School, and

the Parade will start at 12 noon. It will travel for approximately a kilometre, with puppets dancing

down the High Street and round to the Festival hubsite at the Canal Basin.

What’s the theme?

The theme this year is ‘Sea of Dreams’. We’re looking for the mythical and the phantasmagorical

– you might be an octopus floating along with legs rippling, you might be unicorns galloping

through the skies… you might make a huge dragon, a sea horse or a deep sea diver meeting a

mermaid. Let your imagination float free!

About your puppet(s)

Whatever you create must be both robust and light enough to be carried/danced for a kilometre

through Skipton's streets.  Parade puppets work best if they can be seen easily from a distance.

Think of the height at which you carry them.

Simple structures and simple movements are good - don't get carried away and over-engineer your

creation. Your puppet should be sufficiently robust to withstand a light breeze or a light shower of

rain. Please note that in the event of heavy rain/terrible weather, the parade would be cancelled.

We encourage resourcefulness and inventiveness – the world’s your oyster! Our only rule is

No motors and no electronics.

How much will it cost?

You might not need a grant at all, especially if you build your puppet from existing or

recycled materials, but we have a limited pot of money from which we are offering grants

of up to £100 per group, to support the purchase of materials to make a giant puppet or a

group of puppets for the parade. To request a grant, please provide the information detailed

in the sign up area overleaf, together with an itemised list of materials, with prices,

by 30th June 2017.

See next page for the information we need from you.

Where can you find materials?

You might use fabric, willow withies, cardboard, staples, bamboo poles, gaffer tape, masking tape; you might use recycled materials,  or you might visit a Scrap Store. We recommend visiting Scrap Stuff in Farsley in Leeds – find them at – and Immanuel Fabrics on Bright Street in Burnley, where all sorts of fabric is available from £1/metre. If you create a puppet you can also create a banner for your group. You will own your puppets; after the event you must take them away, and you can then do whatever you like with them.

The not-so-small print:

Even if you don't need a grant, we require that you register your participation with us so we can manage and inform the parade participants safely.

Show up! By accepting a grant to build a puppet/puppets, you are also committing to

participating in the Puppet Parade on Sunday 1st October.

Participation is open to everybody; please register. Grants are only available to community and voluntary groups, and schools – no commercial organisations. Grants are not available to families and individuals.

Grants will be awarded at the Festival’s discretion; our decision is final.

Transport: You are responsible for getting your group and your puppet(s) to and from the event.

‘Elf and Safety: Puppets must be designed with parade safety in mind, so performers must be able to see where they’re going, and be unlikely to bump into onlookers. Puppets can be supported by multiple members of the group (e.g. Chinese dragon-style puppets)

The final word: Skipton Puppet Festival reserves the right to exclude puppets from the parade on the grounds of health and safety or inappropriateness. The organisers’ decision will be final.

Sign me up!

For your group to participate, we’d like the following information:

If you are applying for a grant to help with materials costs, please provide a detailed breakdown of costs. The grants are on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please send your information to Clare Danek, Festival Administrator, at

Email Clare with any questions you may have.

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