If you find yourself to be a big fan of puppet shows, then Charleville-Mézières in France is the place to explore. It witnesses a bi-annual World Puppet Festival and houses a number of puppeteers. Various craftsmen from all over the world participate with a lot of zeal and exhibit their skills and talent. The festivity lasts for ten days and celebrates innumerable arts such as shadow forms, bunraku performances, string and glove puppetry, giant puppets, and so on. The artists combine the old art of puppetry with latest styles, and enchant you with their shows. The festival gleams with window displays, carnivals, parades, street shows, and photographic exhibitions.
The puppet festival was founded by the Frenchman, Jacques Félix in 1961. The story dates back to the second world war when Félix used to entertain the children put in the Nazi’s camps. He put on puppet shows to bring smiles to the faces of the kids. However, he continued to stage the shows to often boost the atmosphere of the gloomy and war affected regions. This is how the first puppet festival saw the light of the day, and has never looked back ever since.
The puppet festival has increased the eminence of Charleville-Mézières to such an extent that it is now popularly branded as the World’s Capital of Puppetry Arts. Moreover, the International Institute De La Marionnette, and the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts de la Marionnette (ESNAM) are also situated here. The commune is the headquarter of the Union Internationale de la Marionnette (UNIMA). Interestingly, the puppets are the part and parcel of the lives of the localites.
Whether you are an adult or a child, the festival entertains everyone coming from the farthest corners of the world. It buzzes with puppets hanging from coffee shops, trees, roof tops, and all that you can think of. Technology has entered our lives so intrusively that even puppets are run by a remote-control device. You get to dance to the beats of rock music filled in a sky full of stars. People lose themselves to the artistic touch of the town and live the best ten days of their lives.
The appeal of Charleville-Mézières is breathtakingly beautiful. The buildings are laid of ancient stones. The cobblestoned streets captivate you enough to paint the town red. The cosy town squares are the perfect spots to hangout with your friends and family. The French architecture adds to the elegance and charisma of the place. It takes you back to the good old days filled with chivalry. To give a more vibrant look, the commune flashes a restaurant in the shape of an old double decker London bus.
Do not wait anymore and become a part of the world’s biggest puppet festival in France. You can plan a journey to Charleville-Mézières either by train or car. The nearest available airports are at Paris, Luxembourg, Brussels, and Brussels-Charleroi. The festival serves as a good break to an otherwise monotonous life.