—Cambridge, Mass., Tuesday, August 8, 2017. The Cambridge Fly, Buzz, and Honk! Festival welcomes city residents, especially the smaller variety, for two more days on Wednesday, August 9, and Thursday, August 10, 2017. Wednesday’s lineup includes Navigation Games’ animal homes scavenger hunt at 10:00 a.m. and Puppet Showplace Theater‘s beloved outgoing artist-in-residence Brad Shur. Shur will perform “Cardboard Explosion!” inviting children to tweak the plot while the performance is underway.
Created with elementary school children in mind, the 2017 Fly, Buzz, and Honk! festival began Monday, August 7th with a focus on a single species of bird that calls Cambridge home. A familiar sight in wetland areas, including along the banks of the Charles River, the Red-Winged Blackbird uses cattails for nesting and shelter during its summer visits to the city. Approximately one hundred children visited “The Mighty Red-winged Blackbird” event on Monday, creating wings and masks representing the bird, and some worked on models of nests hidden in the cattails.
Overcast skies thinned attendance at the festival on Tuesday. Beekeeper Mel Gadd, who tends bees at Drumlin Farm and Cambridge Friends School, brought a demonstration hive.
The Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project and DHSP community school staff and MSYEP interns guided children in making finger puppets of some unfamiliar and unexpected pollinators—pollinating moths called clearwings, and green metallic bees of belonging to the halictid family.
On Thursday, the festival culminates with activities for children related to animal sound and motion, including the Fly, Buzz, Honk and Squeak! mini-parade around the perimeter of Riverside Press Park. Members of the School of Honk (in photo) will lead the parade, which begins at 11:00 a.m.
Fly, Buzz, and Honk! is a collaboration of the Cambridge Wildlife Puppetry Project (CWPP), a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting city residents with wildlife and local habitats through the arts, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Community School, a division of the Cambridge Department of Human Service Programs.
The festival launched in 2016 as the Fly, Buzz & Honk Expo at Maynard Ecology Center, In 2017, the CWPP moved the event to a more central location in Riverside/Cambridgeport. The project is supported this year by a grant from the Cambridge Arts Council and Massachusetts Cultural Council.