Giant puppets, musicians and dancers will soon take over downtown Hillsborough, gamboling down the town’s main thoroughfare.
The third annual Handmade Parade, sponsored by the Hillsborough Arts Council, will be held Saturday at 2:30 p.m. and is designed as a hands-on experience for attendees.
Organizers said the parade, which will begin at the Old Orange County Courthouse, has already grown to match the giant proportions of its puppets.
“I’m confident that we’re going to have well over 500 participants this year,” said Mark Donley, an artistic director of the event. “Which is amazing, isn’t it?
“I was joking that for a town the size of Hillsborough that means like half the town is marching in the parade, and the other half is watching it.”
Donley said people from across the Triangle have come to construct the giant puppets, which he said live up to their description.
“We’ve gotten to the point where our puppets have been restricted by two things,” he said. “The height is the power lines, and the width is the width of the street.”
This year’s theme, “Eno River Rhythm,” encourages participants to look to nature for musical and constructional inspiration.
“We wanted to create a parade where people were thinking not only about the costumes and puppets that they’re creating, but the movement, the motion, the migration and all the words that go with that word rhythm,” said Donley.