NORWALK, Conn. – A 15-foot tall man dressed in red and a majestic flowing white bird with blue eyes towered over the streets of Sono Sunday as children joined accomplished artisans to march with the beat in Norwalk's annual puppet parade, colorfully livening up a steamy Sunday at the 37th Annual Sono Arts Celebration.
"It's like Carnival in Rio," one observer said as the parade made its way up North Main Street, after coming up South Main Street, heading down Washington Street and making a U-turn near the traffic light.
The procession stopped under the Washington Street railroad bridge, where musicians and dancers with Sounds of Africa enticed puppeteers and onlookers to dance and join them in pounding the drums, as shown in the video above.
The weekend-long Sono Arts Festival featured 100s of artists set up in booths on Washington and North and South Main Streets. John Deng, a photographer, said the "booth fee is very good." He thought that helped counteract the high price of gas, which he said he believed was part of the reason there were fewer exhibitors than in previous years, in his estimation.
Business seemed to be down, he said. "It's supposed to be my favorite show," he said. "This year, I don't know. Maybe it's the weather."
Sue Brown-Gordon, co-director of the celebration, said the event had been "phenomenal" and was thankful the predicted rainfall had not materialized. She shook hands with "Bert," the 15-foot tall creation of Anne Cubberly, puppet master of the event. Bert also took time to kiss Cubberly's other mammoth creation, the flowing white bird, before ducking under the railroad bridge, heading up South Main Street and drawing a one-word reaction from 3-year-old Norwalk resident Sydney Boland: "Wow."