9th Annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant
Friday, August 18th in New York Mills!
Announcing second performance in Perham on Saturday, August 19th!

The Cultural Center is pleased to present its 9th annual Kalevala Puppet Pageant performance in New York Mills on Friday, August 18th, in conjunction with the New York Mills Civic & Commerce Corn Feed. Both the Corn Feed and NYM Puppet Pageant will be held at a NEW LOCATION this year — outdoors behind the New York Mills VFW!

We are also excited to announce a new partnership with Goose Gang in Perham and our 1st annual Perham Puppet Pageant performance on Saturday, August 19th, outdoors at Goose Gang!

The Puppet Pageant is an original large-scale street theater play based on stories from the Finnish national epic poem, The Kalevala. Adults and youth ages 5 & up (children under the age of 7 must be accompanied by an adult or older sibling) are invited to participate. There are two weeks of workshops leading up to the culminating performances on August 18 & 19.

Dance, music, acting, costume design and performance skills will be taught by Anne Sawyer, Creative Director and Puppeteer who has worked with In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre in Minneapolis, along with Assistance Director Lisa Winter of Wadena.

During the two weeks of workshops, participants will create and build puppets and props of all sizes in addition to learning the story and performance of the narrated play. Stilt walking will be included again this year as an added element to the performance (optional for older youth and adult participants).

Cost to participate is $50/child with a $100/family max. In order to encourage adult participation, there is no fee for adults. Scholarships are available based on need (no one will be turned away based on an inability to pay). Volunteers gladly welcomed.

The 2017 Puppet Pageant Kalevala original play is still in the works, but we do know that there will be magical creatures, stilters, Vainamoinen, the Dame of Pohjola, geese, and DRAGONS!


WORKSHOPS FOR ALL: Located @ The Barn

  • August 7-11 (Monday-Friday) 9am-noon
  • August 14-18 (Monday-Friday) 9am-noon
  • August 16th (Wednesday) 12:30-2:00pm Transport All Puppet, props, supplies etc to NYM VFW (120 S Boardman Ave)
  • August 16 (Wednesday) 6pm-8pm *evening rehearsal* @ VFW
  • August 17 (Thursday) 6-8 pm *DRESS REHEARSAL* @ VFW
  • August 18 (Friday) 5:30 CALL FOR PERFORMERS @ VFW


  • August 18th (Friday) at New York Mills VFW @ 7:00 p.m. (outdoors behind VFW) in conjunction with NYM Corn Feed
    • NOTE: After Performance transport all PP items to Goose Gang 342 3rd Ave SE, Perham, MN 56573
  • August 19th (Saturday) at Goose Gang in Perham @ 4:00 p.m. (outdoors in parking lot)
    • CALL FOR PERFORMERS @ 2:30pm @ Goose Gang

NOTE: We will have food Friday night & Saturday afternoon for all participants. We will also have snacks & water daily. If you would like to donate any healthy snack foods, we will gladly accept them!

UPDATE: a previous version of this post had an incorrect call time on Saturday. Call time for performers is 2:30pm.


  • August 7, 9 (Monday, Wednesday) 6-8pm @ The Barn
  • August 14,15 (Monday, Tuesday) 6-8pm @ The Barn


  • August 8th (Tuesday) 1-2:30 pm @ The Barn
  • August 10th (Thursday) 1-2:30 pm @ The Barn
  • August 15th (Tuesday) 1-2:30 pm @ The Barn
  • August 17th (Thursday) 1-2:30 pm @ The VFW

*Stilt walking open to ages 8 and up. Stilters should bring a pair of jeans and sturdy shoes (hiking boots are best) with socks to put on for practice.

Seeking participants and volunteers!


Call the Center to register (or fill out form below), and with any questions: 218-385-3339.

Support the Puppet Pageant! Provide a scholarship to a child for just $50; $100 buys 3 gallons of acrylic paint; or cover the actual cost for 1 child to participate for $300. ALL donations welcome!

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