With Breath Puppetry of Belfast will be working with campers at Searsport Shores Ocean Campground he week before the Fourth of July to create puppet characters for the float that will be part of the parade Saturday, July 4, in Searsport.

Willow Cordes-eklund grew up in Minneapolis, Minn., next door to Walker Church, which at the time was the home of Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theater. Inspired by Bread and Puppet Theater in Vermont, David O’Fallon and Ray St Louis founded HOBT in 1973.  Cordes-eklund remembers participating in her first parade as a toddler and enjoying being part of festivals and parades throughout her childhood. She became an artist with Heart of the Beast Theater in her 20s.

Cordes-eklund first came to the Midcoast Maine five years ago for an environmental campaign, and she soon returned to attend massage school. All the time she was developing her relationship with Maine, she was really missing puppetry so she decided to open a studio.

With Breath Puppetry opened in Belfast in March and quickly began creating characters for events. Children and families attended puppet-making workshops for several weeks prior to Earth Day, and 150 people carried puppets and participated in the Belfast Earth Day Celebration in April. Recently, With Breath Puppetry hosted a puppet camp attended by 15 children who then performed a pageant at the Waldo County Open Space Festival in Thorndike.

The theme for Searsport Shore’s parade float will be The Sounds of Summer. For more information, call 548-6059 or visit campocean.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.