Take a ride to Kyogle for the Puppet Rodeo

Puppeteer and musician Jimmy Willing and his daughter Gwynne with a selection of marionettes which will feature at the Puppet Rodeo in Kyogle this Saturday.

Lismore artist Jimmy Willing feels like this Saturdays Puppet Rodeo in Kyogle is tailor-made for him, as it combines his two loves alt-country music and puppets.

The event is being held to commemorate the official opening of the Kyogle Visitor Centre and to celebrate 100 years of Kyogle Council.

Jimmy said alt-country music is a particular approach to the genre, like that taken by his band Jimmy Willing & the Real Gone Hick-Ups the final band to take the stage on Saturday at 5pm.

Its the un-corporate stuff, he said. The real, groovy stuff. Not the slick, highly produced stuff. Theres thousands of alt-country acts in the world, but combining that with puppetry, Ive not seen or heard anything like it.

The Puppet Rodeo kicks off at 11am this Saturday, October 28, at the former bull-riding site known by locals as The Colosseum with a launch and screening of a DVD celebrating Kyogle Councils history.

Meanwhile, a life-size bull puppet created by Krinkl Theatre will be paraded through Kyogles main street to draw people to the event.

The woman pulling the strings behind the scenes is director of the Roxy Gallery, Ruth Tsitimbinis.

She said the venue had now been developed as a place to stage events, but because it used to be utilised for rodeos, they hit upon the idea of a Puppet Rodeo.

Its to focus on the high quality of performers we have in our region, she said. But also this area is a beef and cattle area, so it fits in with the nature of Kyogle.

At noon the Gypsy Rollers will be performing A Tale of Two Islands and at 12.30pm Krinkl Theatre will be staging its production Grass is Greener followed by a puppet-making workshop.

Later in the afternoon Czech puppeteer Lenka Muchova will be animating her marionettes in conjunction with narration by Jimmy Willing.

At 4pm there will be a rare chance to see Jimmys puppet show The Von Tramp Family Puppets a once common spectacle in the region, but now only seen once or twice a year.

There will be plenty of top notch musical entertainment with eclectic, alternative band A Couple Of Invisible Men starting the line-up at 1pm followed by The Re-mains and Jimmy Willing & the Real Gone Hick-Ups. Special guests on the day will be Uncle Burnin Love and Glenny Rae Virus. At 2pm the Kyogle Visitor Information Centre will be launched and Rainforest Way Photographic Competition winners will be announced at 2.30pm.

The event is a free, and people are encouraged to bring the family and a picnic for a day of music and fun. The Kyogle Colosseum is on the corner of Summerland Way and Anzac Drive.

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