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Celebration of Shadows fest includes shadow theater, pumpkin carving workshops

The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center hosts the Celebration of Shadows Fall Festival, a family friendly event set for Saturday, Oct. 23.

This first-time event includes a shadow theater and pumpkin carving workshop, followed by free evening festivities that include a pumpkin walk and contest through Webster’s Woods, an interactive shadow puppet theater performance on the outdoor stage, warm drinks and the opportunity for an evening visit to the gallery for the latest exhibition, “Chasing Shadows,” at the PAFAC, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

In the weeks leading up to the festival, parents can register children ages 6-12 for the after school Build Your Own Shadow Puppet Stage workshop on Wednesday, Oct. 13th or Oct. 20, both from 2:30-5 p.m. Participants build their own desktop shadow theater using various tools, from simple paper cutouts to designs built on a 3-D printer. Workshop cost is $25 for center members, $30 for non-members.

All are invited to register online for the two workshops on Saturday, Oct. 23. The first, from noon-2 p.m., invites participants to step inside a life-sized shadow puppet theater. Facilitator Terry Valdez will dive into the world of collaborative storytelling using a participatory shadow puppet set-up. Participants learn how simple handmade props and costume pieces — and their own body — can bring new characters to life through shadow puppetry.

Later that evening, workshop participants will have the opportunity to share their freshly-designed character and shadow puppet story in front of a live audience. Pricing for the workshop is $30 for members, $35 for non-members.

The Pumpkin Carving Workshop is led by local artist Nathan Shields from 2:30-4:30 p.m. Pumpkins donated by Agnew Grocery and tools will be provided as participants learn how to take their carving skills to the next level. Pricing for the workshop is $5 per person.

Advanced registration for all workshops is required.

Those who can’t make the workshops can still submit their pumpkin to the Pumpkin Carving Contest for a chance to win the grand prize. Drop-off the pumpkins at the PAFAC between 11 a,m.-4:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 22, or Saturday, Oct. 23, to be entered, at $5 per entry.

Exhibit details

The Celebration of Shadows Festival compliments “Chasing Shadows,” the newest exhibition in the Esther Webster Gallery that is set to open for viewing 11 a.m.-8 p.m. on Oct. 23. Terry Valdez, juror of the exhibition will also give a gallery talk about the exhibition at 5 p.m.

Starting at 6 p.m. that day, all are welcome to stroll through the pumpkin walk where submitted pumpkins will line the park paths. The Shadow Puppet Theater performance will take place in the meadow and begin at 7 p.m. These evening events are free and open to the public.

For more information about the Celebration of Shadows Festival and to register for a workshop, visit pafac.org/shadows-festival.html.

All workshops will be held outside. Masks are required for all attendees at all times in the gallery. Those who are fully vaccinated may remove their masks in the courtyard if able to maintain 6 feet of social distance.

“Chasing Shadows” will remain on display at the historic Esther Webster Gallery during regular gallery hours from Oct. 8-Nov. 14. Entrance to the gallery is free/by donation.

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