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Pageant Brings together Local Children, Regional Artists, and Two Communities

The Kalevala Puppet Pageant, with two weeks of workshops for kids, is wrapping up this week. Workshops in puppet-building, stilting, and puppetry continue through Friday, Aug. 18, culminating in two performances in New York Mills and Perham.

The show, entitled Väinämöinen and the Golden Goose, celebrates the inclusion of the Goose Gang as a second venue and partner in producing the 9th Annual Puppet Pageant.

Once again, Anne Sawyer, formerly of In The Heart Of The Beast Puppet Theatre in Minneapolis, writes the story, directs the children, and facilitates workshops. Lisa Winter, of Wadena, assists in directing, builds puppets, and organizes the day-to-day management of props, puppets and venues. Musical guests, Curtis and Loretta, who play traditional folk music, provide an original score for the pageant.

New for 2017, the Puppet Pageant performance venues have changed! Held on the grounds of the New York Mills VFW, following the city corn feed, the first performance is at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 18. Also new this year, the Center is adding a second performance of the Pageant, in conjunction with Goose Gang of Perham. This performance will be at the Goose Gang in their parking lot at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 19. Attendees of Pioneer Days are encouraged to stop over to take in the free pageant.

Along with the Goose Gang, New York Mills city's Civic and Commerce Committee give major support to the workshops and production.

The Kalevala Puppet Pageant is held annually during the month of August. The plays are based on characters and stories from the Kalevala, the Finnish national epic poem, without the grisly plot lines and details evocative of oral mythology recorded in the nineteenth century.

All performances are free to attend and are family-friendly events!

To volunteer to help out, sponsor a child, or ask any questions, please call the Cultural Center at (218) 385-3339, visit the Center's website at, or email the staff coordinator at