WEST LIBERTY, Iowa–In September, children in West Liberty have looked forward not only to the beginning of a new school year and cooler weather but also the West Liberty Children’s Festival. A cooperation between Eulenspiegel Puppet Theatre and the West Liberty Chamber of Commerce, the event features many puppet shows and other activities for kids. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, Eulenspiegel decided they needed to find an alternative to the Children’s Festival that provided better social distancing. To that end, they will hold a special drive in puppet parade and show at the Muscatine County Fair Grounds, Sept. 26.
Prior to the show, Monica Leo, one of Eulenspiegel’s co-founders, encourages children interested in coming to request a parade puppet kit. Each kit will include several yards of fabric, bailing wire, a cardboard tube or dowel rod, decorating supplies such as pom poms, glue, and an empty jug (if requested) to use for a head. Once children ask for these supplies and pick them up for free at Owl Glass Puppet Center, 319 North Calhoun Street, West Liberty, they can use them to create their very own large parade puppets. The night of the show, children may march with their puppets around the activities center parking lot before the feature presentation begins.
Eulenspiegel will perform their most recent show, “Shenanigans: Animals in Charge!” Already a local hit, Eulenspiegel has performed “Shenanigans” at three drive in events this summer and looks to present it at several additional venues this fall. A grant from the 100+ Women Who Care Comet Chapter will allow Eulenspiegel to perform this or other shows and hold workshops with area school students virtually as well.
Due to space constraints, Eulenspiegel will limit the number of cars that attend the show at the fairgrounds to 20. If you would like to preregister, or request a free parade puppet kit, you may call 319-627-2487 or email [email protected] Generous donations from Midwest One Bank, West Liberty Foods, and the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust make this show free to all who attend.
Leo believes this special puppet parade and drive in show will prove an enjoyable evening of socially distanced entertainment. “It’s fun, and it’s live theatre when we can’t go to much live theatre,” she emphasized.