Community Puppet-Building Workshop & Puppet Pageant

Join us!
Workshop: Saturday, Sept. 18 and Sunday, Sept. 19

Pageant: Saturday, Oct. 2

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One of the more unique traditions of the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is our Community Puppet-Building Workshop & Puppet Pageant. 

The Ballard Institute and Museum of Puppetry at the University of Connecticut will once again offer fall community puppet-building workshops to design and build life-size and over-life-size puppets for a new Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Pageant to be performed at the Celebrate Mansfield Festival in Downtown Storrs.


These free workshops will take place Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 18 and 19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day at the Ballard Institute, located at 1 Royce Circle in Downtown Storrs.


Workshops will be socially distanced and follow Town of Mansfield and UConn safety guidelines. Workshop participants will be invited to perform in the community Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Pageant at the 18th annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3:00 PM.

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In collaboration with Joshua’s Trust, the theme for this year's Ballard Institute community pageant for the Celebrate Mansfield Festival is CLIMATE CHANGE – it’s not just about us humans!

Climate change is affecting many plant and animal species – including here in Connecticut. Working together, workshop participants will create over-life-sized masks and puppets  representing insects, trees, birds, and other species that are being affected by the changing climate in Connecticut, and think about how we can help counteract this change as a community.

These puppets and masks will then be part of the Beetles, Bittersweet, and Butterflies Species Change Pageant, to be performed 
at the 18th annual Celebrate Mansfield Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2 at 3:00 PM.

No experience is necessary to participate in these free community puppet-building workshops. Registration is required and space is limited, so participants must register in advance.

To comply with UConn safety guidelines, masks are required for all attendees and staff ages two and up at all times.

Participants can come for one or both days, but must register for the 10 a.m. to 1p.m. or/and 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. time slot(s).

Minors must be accompanied by an adult.

To register for the workshop, please visit If you require accommodation to participate, contact the Ballard Institute by email or call 860.486.8580.

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As of August 14, 2021, the Town of Mansfield requires everyone to wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth when indoors in public spaces and private businesses - regardless of vaccination status.

Read more about our health and safety measures here.

Thank you for your cooperation. Let's all do our part to keep our community safe and healthy!