Puppets Parade Westville

An early snowfall left the ground white and slushy, but it was not enough to deter young and old from their appointed rounds in this year’s pre-Halloween Giant Puppet Parade on Sunday in Westville Village.  The parade, sponsored by the Westville Village Renaissance Alliance (WVRA), featured an array of giant puppets, costumes and creations, many of which were made in the WVRA-sponsored puppet-making workshops located in the vacant Anthony’s Barbershop on Fountain Street.  Workshop leader and parade coordinator Muffy Pendergast worked with volunteers to facilitate the puppet creations at the site, but also dispensed advice to many who chose to make their creations at home.

David Sepulveda PhotoAfter an evening of stormy weather that left a wake of downed tree limbs and power outages, Sunday’s bright sun and blue skies made for perfect parade weather that drew out over 100 marchers.  WVRA Executive Director Chris Heitmann was out early shoveling sidewalks in preparation for the big event among his other duties. The Sunday brunchtime crowds that usually pack Westville’s premier restaurants had ringside seats as paraders marched up and down Whalley Avenue in the heart of the Village, occasionally stopping to collect candy from those businesses that were open.  Trumpet player Tim Kane played Holloween-themed riffs while others accompanied with an assortment of drums, tamborines and noisemakers.

The parade ended at the CitySeed Farmers Market in Edgewood Park, where vendors were selling fruit, some veggies, breads and pastries.  At the nearby gazebo, Westville historian and tour guide Colin Caplan regaled a small crowd of “Taste of New Haven” tour guests with Westville lore and history, in a scene this is becoming increasingly familiar to Westville residents.

As parade marchers and watchers enjoyed market goodies, many were already talking about their participation in next year’s parade. WVRA President Gabriel DaSilva talked about the possibility of extending next year’s festivities into more of a fall festival format, but it is the giant puppet parade that will remain the center attraction of this growing Westville tradition.

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posted by: Inger Da Silva on October 31, 2011  9:33am

Congratulations Muffy and everyone involved . It looked like a very excellent event.

posted by: Gabriel on October 31, 2011  10:13am

Thank you David for this article, and Thank you to all who participated in the annual parade thru Westville Village, snow made it a bit interesting this year. This Halloween giant puppet parade is becoming a staple event in Westville Village as is Artwalk. I will like to thank to all made it possible and all the volunteers who helped construct the puppets.
Gabriel Da Silva
WVRA, President

posted by: Chris Heitmann on October 31, 2011  10:35am

Big thanks to Muffy Pendergast for pulling the workshops together and teaching and inspiring the giant puppet creations - to Ken Andrews of 24 Fountain St. for donating the use of his space for the workshops - to TT&P’s Crossing Guard Supreme Ms. Linda - to merchants who handed out goodies - and to everyone who made their own puppets, came in costume, and marched in the parade!

posted by: Beverly Kaye on November 1, 2011  8:24am

I saw the kids joyfully preparing for this event and am sorry I missed the actual parade. That won’t happen again. This is what devoted community is all about. Thanks for the article and wonderful pictures, David!

posted by: Shareces on November 1, 2011  9:00am

How awesome! the Westville community knows how to keep fsmilies involved through the seasons. Great article Dave and NHI :) -Sharece

posted by: P.J. on November 1, 2011  12:05pm

Looks like a blast! What a great way to celebrate. Great coverage of another cool Westville event!

posted by: Marjorie Pendergast on November 3, 2011  3:50pm

Wow!  What a great idea! What a great community effort and response!  Congratulations AGAIN for creating the way, Muffy!

posted by: Steve on November 5, 2011  8:06am

The West Rock Troll is classic Hillside Elementary School paper mache’ style. The only missing element is a cement cowlick:) Bravo!