I Just Followed Baker Bob – PuppetsUp! Parade August 7th



Photos by Steve Yaver

PuppetsUp! Parade 2016 Sunday August 7–2016


Linda and Scott Reid Member of Parliament (federal) for the riding of Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington


and so the parade begins with the first dancing footsteps of Nick


Noreen Young with her young awesome charge


The Mayor of Almonte-Shaun McLaughlin


Steampunk Ottawa





Let’s just keep following the beat….


Yowsers this is great!


Les Grandes Dames de PuppetsUp!


Look at the spectators!




We’re working the street!


My friend Vicki Racey- known as Vintage Vicki to all of her friends!


Vicki and I working the street.. Baker Bob with his fans in the back of us!


I’m just following Baker Bob!!




Kris Riendeau Hansen from the Humm on the right and Kassandra on the left

If you would like to see more photos hit up PuppetsUp! Facebook page

So what happens when the parade is over after everyone turns that corner?

They say there are no faeries or clouds of magic in Lanark County, but some might disagree. The magic that the enchanting Noreen Young has created for many decades has made many of us follow the beat of this amazing woman who resides in Mississippi MIlls.

Noreen Isabel Young, was born on the 10th of May, 1952 and is a Canadian producer and puppeteer, and still actively involved in puppeteering through her corporation Noreen Young Productions. Young grew up in the capital of Ottawa, Ontario and knew from the beginning that puppets can say things that humans can’t.

Young, a founding member of the CBC children’s television programming developed a children’s show called “Hi Diddle Day” from 1968-1976. The uniquely-produced series starred a number of puppet characters (created, manipulated and voiced by Noreen Young) who lived in an unusual household. It was originally seen only in Ottawa, Montreal and the Maritimes, and by 1970, its popularity led CBC to turn it into a national children’s series.

But the magic didn’t stop there-  the fascinating Young was also the creator of “Under the Umbrella Tree” – another popular CBC television children’s series that ran from 1987 – 1993 on the CBC network and subsequently on The Disney Channel from 1993-1997.  She received Gemini Award nominations for all her love, imagination and her mastery of puppetry in 1986, 1990 and 1994.

Dodie”, a character on Sesame Park, also became part of Noreen’s repertoire when she replaced Rob Mills on the Canadian version of Sesame Street.  Her puppet characters also appeared on many TV Ontario productions including Readalong and Telefrancais and they were also  featured in the second 1984 Care Bears television special, The Care Bears Battle the Freeze Machine.

Young is also known for her fabulous caricature puppets of public figures: former governor-general Adrienne Clarkson, CBC news anchor Peter Mansbridge and hockey commentator Don Cherry, and also of community personalities from her beloved Mississippi Mills. She was made a Member of the Order of Canada in 1995, honoured by the Canadian Institute for Child Health on November 18th, 2015 at the 16th Annual Crayons and Cravats Gala for her tireless energy and dedication to the use of puppetry to teach and entertain children.

No one had a clue what Noreen would do next until she and her astonishing puppet community brought the PuppetsUp! International Puppet Festival to Almonte, Ontario. Her band of volunteers, businesses, sponsors, angel investors, and of course the city of Almonte brought the community to another level with family-friendly original theatre.

 In 2017 the PuppetsUp! Festival sadly ended after 12 years. Noreen was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen: 

“This is not the end of Puppets Up!” she insisted, “I think that we will reinvent ourselves!”

…and so she has. 

Abracadabra! —Let the magic begin once again!

Related posts

The Hi- Diddle-Day House of Carleton Place – Puppets on a String

Isn’t Life Really Just One Big Puppet Show? A Photo Essay about Puppets and more

Did you Know Nick is not a Millionaire?

Jane Austen and Linda Comment on the Frogtown Mountain Puppeteers

So What Happened to Laird Keller and His Ventriloquist Dummy Woody?

Life is Too Short to Buy Green Bananas

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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