4th annual Fox Festival a huge success!
Hundreds of children and families kicked off the Feast of the East on June 15 with
the Fox Festival Parade.
Students from the Thompson School dressed as birds,butterflies and bats in costumes made with puppeteer Sara Peattie. They celebrated the pollinators that their school is working hard to sustain with a new garden and
other Green Team activities. Students from the Hardy School – joining the parade for the first time this year – celebrated their school mascot, the dolphin. Kids carried dolphin puppets emblazoned with messages urging ocean protection: “don’t overfish” and “stop plastic pollution.” Artist Kari Percival ran several workshops for Hardy kids and families, and also organized a postcard campaign to stop oil and gas exploration using sonic blasting in Massachusetts waters.
Families from all over Arlington and beyond joined in with fox puppets and masks made at the Fox Library with Sara Peattie; using just cardboard, fabric scraps, construction paper and markers they designed an astounding array of imagined foxes. Friends of Spy Pond Park marched this year with their own important message: to protect and steward this lovely local resource.
The Fox Festival began as a tribute to a local treasure: the Fox Library. It is also a demonstration of Arlington’s love of local wildlife. The clever, resourceful fox – also a devoted parent – is an ideal mascot for the arts. With a few real fox families finding a home in the town’s green spaces, Arlington is a vital sanctuary for animals losing habitat and food to human development everywhere. The parade is a reminder of how animals of all kinds engage our imagination and inspire our creativity, and the need to protect them!
The Arlington Police did a great job protecting the parade at street crossings, and the teens of LARP (Live Action Role Play) also served as Guardians of the Parade this year, keeping the little kids safe as they marched to tunes performed by the fabulous Dapper Brass Band.
Many thanks to all who make the Fox Festival possible, including our artist teachers and everyone who marched, our generous sponsor the Friends of the Fox Library, the Fox Library and its staff, the Thompson School (especially Vicki Rose), the Hardy School (especially PTO activists Terry Holt, Ellen Pfeiffer and Stewart Ikeda), LARP, and our great partner, the Capitol Square Business Association, which organizes the Feast of the East every year. It truly takes a village to support such an outpouring of creativity and community spirit!