SKOWHEGAN — Look for stilt walkers and giant puppets, live music, “flappers” and a play performed by area children Sunday during the first Creative Living Arts Parade at Coburn Park. Organizers expect 50 participants in lavish costumes to march around the park then settle in for live chorus, short skits and acoustic Americana music.

The event begins at 3:30 p.m. Sunday with a performance by the Skowhegan Community Orchestra with music that dates back a century or more, when every town had a community orchestra. The living arts parade is set to kick off at 4 p.m., said event organizer Lolly Phoenix, of the Wesserunsett Arts Council, which is sponsoring the free event.

“We have some pretty interesting groups coming to parade around the park,” Phoenix, of New Portland, said. “We’re going to have some stilt walkers; we have a puppeteer from Portland called Paper Bull Puppets — with huge puppets that will require five adult bodies to carry each.”

Phoenix said there will be professional face painting in park by a man who is a makeup artist in the film industry. The Merry-Go-Roundup Band, a local country and western-themed group of performance artists, will ride in the back of a horse-drawn wagon, Phoenix said.

The Stanley Museum in Kingfield will bring a Stanley Steamer motor car to the parade, Midge’s Children’s Theater will perform, as will a group of “flappers” doing the Charleston.

“”When we get back to the bandstand we’re going to stage three or four different acts, including a song-and-dance number by the chorus from the Lakewood Theater production of ‘Big,'” she said.

“The Wesserrunsett Arts Council is all about supporting and promoting all of the arts in the whole Kennebec Valley — the greater central Maine region,” Phoenix said. “This seem to be a good way to include the performing arts.”

Nina Pleasants, vice president of the arts council, agreed.

“Wesserunsett Arts Council is taking off as a central arts hub for many organizations and small groups in the greater Skowhegan area,” Pleasants said. “The parade is the perfect coalition of all of these elements. You will see performers, singers, puppeteers, dancers, Easter hats, floats, musicians. Fun for all.”

Much of the fun comes from the range of performers who come together to perform.

“There are so many small independent artistic passions explored individually in this area and now we are seeing communication and collaboration among these far flung groups and individuals,” Pleasants said. “I had no idea when we restarted WAC how rich and varied the artist tradition was and continues to be in this area.”

The parade and various performances will end with a concert at 5 p.m. by Brian Richmond, Hope Savage and Dave Thibodeau performing American roots music, also called Americana.

“It’s like folk but a little more eclectic,” Richmond said. “It’s an amalgam of all kinds of American music, from folk to rock to jazz, played primarily in an acoustic format.”

Phoenix said she encourages visitors to come to the parade in costume.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow


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