Pre-pandemic the bi-annual Skipton International Puppet Festival attracted puppet performers and fans from all round the world to this colourful and unusual event.

The weekend was packed with shows for children and adults, with shows taking place in venues around town and many free to attend. Sunday’s performance included an exciting, colourful procession through the streets where giant creatures create a spectacular finale to the fun. It was a highlight for performers and visitors travelling to Skipton from around the world to participate.

In 2020, the impact of COVID-19 and related restrictions on travel and public gatherings had a significant impact on Skipton’s tourism events, and this will continue until all domestic restrictions are relaxed, inbound travel from our key international markets can resume and the travel sector begins to recover. Consequently the Skipton International Puppet Festival has been on hold.

In 2021, following a successful lockdown exit roadmap set out by the government, six weekends of puppet fun are planned for Skipton. Every second weekend of the month, June to November, 2 to 3 puppet companies will travel to Skipton and perform live shows, indoor and outdoor.

In it’s new post-lockdown format, the festival organisers are working with the newly refurbished Skipton Town Hall, which has become a fantastic performance venue.

Skipton BID is pleased to contribute to the Puppet Festival, thus enabling the festival team to access funding from many other organisations such as the Arts Council.