Chattanooga must be pulling some pretty big strings, because our city is an upcoming destination for one of the largest public festivals. Meet “Little Amal,” a 12-ft puppet of a 10-year-old Syrian refugee girl.
On Saturday, Oct. 7, folks will be able to experience this international traveling art project. This larger-than-life girl has taken the world by storm, traveling to 13 countries + is now trekking 6,000 miles stateside.
Starting her journey in Boston (hey BOStoday) early in September, the puppet will make her way through the US to 37 stops in total — ending in San Diego in November (we’re looking at you SDtoday to give this festival a proper send off).
You might be asking, why Chattanooga? Each destination was selected for being a place that has “served as arrival posts for generations of immigrants, and others that have attracted migrants internally.”
This festival is not only free to the public, but it also aims to highlight the needs of refugees, immigrants, and asylum seekers while showcasing the rich cultures immigrants bring with them. During Little Amal’s stay, you can find her at the 3 Sisters Bluegrass Festival (no ticket required) + enjoy a lantern walk on the Walnut Street Pedestrian Bridge.
Note: Those who want to participate in the lantern walk must register online + due to the lineup schedule, Amal has changed her arrival at the festival to 4 p.m.
Bonus: To get ready for the walk with Little Amal, local art center Playful Evolving Monsters will be hosting various lantern-building workshops in the coming days.
Hummingbird lantern workshops
Hunter Museum of American Art | Thursday, Sept. 28 | 5:30-7 p.m. | Free | Create your own lantern for the walk with Little Amal.
Creative Discovery Museum | Friday, Sept. 29 | 6-8 p.m. | $0-$12 | Make your lantern for the big day + enjoy a performance with Luminooga, a larger-than-life puppet.
Outdoor Chattanooga | Saturday, Sept. 30 | 4-7:30 p.m. | Free | Enjoy a lantern-making workshop + end the night with a “Puppet Glow” show with Luminooga.
Keep up with the adventures of Little Amal + her mission by following the puppet’s Instagram page.