Thursday, July 2, 2015

MEDIA ADVISORY - 10th Annual City Heights Giant Puppet Parade Celebration featuring Clark Middle and Rosa Parks Elementary students

Reports and Editors: Your coverage is welcome at the July 7 event hosted by the San Diego Guild of Puppetry and featuring nearly 600 San Diego Unified students.


CONTACTS: Lynne Jennings at 619-987-5345; or or Mary Pat Hutt at 619-884-5069;  


At 8:15 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015, San Diego Guild of Puppetry lead artist, Felix Diaz’s whistle will blow, the drum group from Monroe Clark Middle School will set the beat, and rank upon rank of 6th graders will set out on a spirited march to their feeder elementary, Rosa Parks, in their 10th annual, “Welcome to Middle School” parade.


Students will parade with masks, giant puppets and banners that they have created, and as the middle schoolers approach the elementary playground, they will be joined by Rosa Parks’ graduating 5th graders, bearing the masks that they created. After parading before the entire school population, the procession, now close to 600 students strong, will march together back to Monroe Clark, marking the passage to middle school, in a larger than life celebration.


Funding for the original parade in 2006 came from an Arts and Culture Community Impact grant from The San Diego Foundation, with additional and continuing funding every year from A-I-S grants from the California Arts Council, a state agency, the NEA, a federal agency and the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.


Mentoring the process, the San Diego Guild of Puppetry, is hard at work to make giant puppet parade pageantry an important element in the San Diego community at large. Several of the other public, multi-community giant puppet parades have included those at the Theatre of the World Festivals at SDSU, the opening of the New Children’s Museum, ocean and dragon themed parades at the Museum of Art, a number of Dia de los Muertos Celebrations, and parades along downtown San Diego’s waterfront.


Lynne Jennings, Guild Executive Director, explains: “Giant puppetry, by its very size, inspires awe. It builds stronger communities, as individuals become part of a committed team effort. It engenders the realization that working together, people can effect powerful and positive change. It invites participants and spectators of all ages, cultures, and backgrounds to join hands in celebration!”


Everyone is invited to come and cheer.  The parade route will start at the Monroe Clark Middle School field (4388 Thorn Street, San Diego, 92105) go east on Myrtle and north on 45th to Rosa Parks (4510 Landis Street), circle the elementary school playground and then retrace the route back to the middle school.