top of page

Handmade Puppet

Come as your most creative self!


Interested in fostering an existing HAC puppet to refurbish and walk in the parade? Please fill out the form linked below to tell us about your group!

DIY Manual

Find a comprehensive manual on the art of building giant puppets by Tinka Jordy, Handmade Parade originator, and previous HAC Board Chair, by clicking on the button below!

Like art, Handmade Parade is for everyone, and YOU ARE invited to craft your creative addition to the show! 

This parade has a long history of being themed to honor the Eno River and up-cycling, breathing new life into our world with imagination, ingenuity, and what we already have. Those concepts are woven into the identity of this parade and will continue to be a forever theme. We invite you to find inspiration in them year after year. This year, we introduce a parade inspiration as well, and it feels only appropriate for a town well-known for its writers and poets. In a word...


*n. the sudden realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own - with their own ambitions, routines, loves, worries, pain - an epic story that continues invisibly around you, in which you might appear once, in the background of a coffee shop, in a car passing on the highway, or, in moments like this - dancing in the streets of Hillsborough, NC, in the Handmade Parade.*

On June 1, 2024, we let the mundane and banal, the monotonous and humdrum, rest. We come together as our most imaginative selves, in support of one another, to celebrate art, fun, and what becomes possible when we come together.


You can transform everyday objects into spectacular, wearable costumes or puppetry masterpieces. We encourage you to use recycled cardboard, paper, old backpacks, helmets, hats, stray wires, dowels, newspapers, paint, glitter, or anything that sparks your imagination to come as your most creative self.


Whether you craft a puppet or help carry one of ours', we need your help to pull off this parade!

*Registration required for WATCHERS & WALKERS!
Check "Walking" at registration to join at staging.

Parade Staging:

Walk With Us!

Hands-On Workshops!


Community Workshop Series!

SUN, MAY 12, 2024, 1-4 PM
SUN. MAY 19, 2024, 1-4 PM

302 West Corbin St. Classroom

HAC and 1,2,3 Puppetry are hosting a giant puppet-making workshop series! We invite you to spend the afternoon learning about the art of puppetry, and working with us to community-craft a NEW giant puppet to debut at the 2024 Handmade Parade!

Our Instructor: Sol Ramirez

Sol Ramirez is the founder and director of 1,2,3 Puppetry, a puppet theater company based in Chapel Hill. This group is dedicated to leveraging puppetry, acting, music, and movement to champion social justice and shed light on underrepresented issues. Sol became interested in puppetry at the age of three, and at age six, 1,2,3 Puppetry was born. Sol now helps lead the Handmade Parade and is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Puppet Arts at the University of Connecticut!

2022 event photo courtesy of Aeon Schmoock.

Registration Fee: $15 per person per date OR $20 for both! 

Ages 12 and up. We will be using hot and sharp tools. Adults and guardians will be asked to sign a safety release waiver.

Space is limited, and first-come, first-serve!


Last Fridays
Make & Take Tables!

FRI, MAY 31, 2024, 6-8 PM
Old Orange County Courthouse Lawn


Community Guidelines

This parade is all about the love of art and one another! 

  • Please be kind and keep your costumes respectful to all.

  • Please no passing out flyers along the parade route, throwing merch, candy, or distributing goods of any kind. Carrying banners or otherwise representing your group/organization in your puppets/costumes is permitted.

  • Well behaved pets permitted, at owners liability, especially if in costume. Pets are also welcome in River Park during the Handmade Market!

  • No politics, hate speech, violence, or disorderly conduct of any kind. Anyone exhibiting this behavior will be asked to leave. 

Other Inspiring Online Resources
bottom of page