(Submitted photo)
(Submitted photo)
In 1999, Decorah’s Puppet Project was born, with the idea of bringing even more magic to the Nordic Fest parade.

That year, giant puppets based on Norse mythology first made their way down Water Street, surrounded by children dressed as trolls and fairies, and friends dressed as all sorts of fantastical creatures. Over the years, the puppets have been guest stars at the Sytennde Mai Celebration, Vesterheim, Live on Winnebago and other events.

With the help of the Northeast Iowa RC&D, The next stage of the Puppet Project has begun – which involves fundraising in order to do several things over the next year: build at least two new three-pole puppets for next year’s Nordic Fest, repair the existing papier-mache puppets and facilitate workshops in the coming year where people of all ages can develop their own puppets to wear or carry in the parade.

In the meantime, everyone is invited to walk with the puppets in the Nordic Fest parade Saturday. Participants are invited to dress in a costume of their choice, or not. They’ll put you to work carrying a puppet, a sign, or just a smile.

To participate, meet at the Fairgrounds Saturday at 10 a,m. (Look for the brightly painted creatures who are 12 feet tall).

To help move these puppet dreams forward, go to iowaart.org and click on the puppet head in the left hand corner.