OffCenter Folk Art Festival features a parade of giant puppets

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — If you’re hunting for a giant bear, a wolf or a butterfly, prowl around Robinson Park on Oct. 1.

The 12- to 14-foot critters will parade in the OFFCenter Folk Art Festival at Eighth and Central NW in the nonprofit’s 15th annual celebration of the arts.

Giant puppets will loom over the parade at the 15th Annual OFFCenter Folk Art Festival this weekend.

The free festival about 2,000 visitors to more than 100 arts and crafts vendors selling handmade creations.

You might even find an oversized Frida Kahlo or two, thanks to this year’s theme, “Champions of the Arts.”


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“They’re mainly things like giant paintbrushes, art implements and giant artists,” said Robert Allen, executive director.

“The parade is a chance for everyone to be self-expressive,” he continued. “We make a lot of costumes for kids. You can just show up, pick a costume and wear it.”

The nonprofit community arts center unpacks its historic stash of oversized creatures hoisted onto backpacks annually.

“There’s a Rachel Carson giant puppet,” Allen said. “She’s got these giant binoculars. It was more of a nature theme.”

Carson was a conservationist and author of “The Silent Spring.”

Visitors can create arts and crafts at the festival.

The center’s knitting and crochet group is busy whipping up a giant fiber tent.

“They’re creating strings so people can come and add to the crochet chain,” Allen added.

Kids can join in art-making activities in an oversized tent crammed with art supplies, face-painters and fortune tellers. The childen’s puppet group will present their original play “The Great Bazuto,” “about a kid whose parents want him to join the circus, but he wants to be an artist,” Allen said.

Food trucks will offer…

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