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An eclectic global puppet festival is headed to the Lower East Side

An eclectic global puppet festival is headed to the Lower East Side

Can’t wait for this October’s Halloween parade? A mini version, and many more puppeteering events are coming to Manhattan this summer. The International Puppet Fringe Festival is returning for five days this August, with performances, celebrations, family-friendly shows, and so much more, in both English and Spanish.

Organized by Teatro SEA, Grupo Morán (The Morán Group) and The Clemente Soto Vélez Cultural & Education Center. The International Puppet Fringe Festival the only festival of its kind in New York and beyond. 

The festival will kick off on Wednesday, August 9 at the Clemente Soto Vélez Center on the Lower East Side with a mini-Halloween procession in which puppeteers will take to Suffolk Street and beyond with fun and spooky puppets inspired by the famous Village Halloween parade every October 31.

“Prepare to witness an awe-inspiring display of talent at Puppet Fringe 2023. With a captivating ‘Halloween in August’ theme, we will take our audiences on a mesmerizing journey into a realm brimming with wonder and enchantment, as we pay tribute to the remarkable Ralph Lee.”” says Dr. Manuel Morán, founder of the International Puppet Fringe Festival.

Lee was known for his visionary, surreal life size puppets that have become a feature in NYC parades, theatres and public celebrations. 

The festival will continue through August 13 with daily programming starting at 11am and running until 10pm or later. Many events, workshops and stage events are ticketed, with festival day passes also available for $75 per ticket. 

Those looking for more of a gallery experience can pop into exhibits including “Myths, Legends, & Spectacle: Masks and Puppets of Ralph Lee” at Abrazo Interno Gallery, “Ralphs Lee’s Legacy” at LES Gallery, Teatro SEA’s International Collaborations at Tamayo Gallery, and Murals of Puppetry around the World at Punto SEA in the Teatro SEA Lobby.

The festival will conclude on Sunday night with at 6:30 pm salsa party at La Plaza and a 7pm open mic Punto SEA.

* This article was originally published here