First Impressions hosts a puppet show tonight |

First Impressions hosts a puppet show tonight

Allison Plean

Puppeteer Mike Walsh’s biggest challenge is holding his hands above his head for 45 minutes.

“If your arm gets tired, you have to hold it up with the other arm,” Walsh said. “You have to make sure that the puppet doesn’t die up there. It’s not pretty.”

Walsh will put his muscles to the test tonight during a performance of “The Three Little Pigs” at the Steamboat Mountain Theater. The show, sponsored by First Impressions of Routt County, is for the Month of the Young Child.

Walsh has been doing puppet shows since 1980, and his wife joined him in 1988. He makes the puppets out of leftover scraps from his upholstery business. His wife and four children decorate them.

“I knew that once I started it (puppet shows), I’d be doing it for a while,” Walsh said.

“You don’t have to be talented. You just have to be 5 feet tall,” he said, referring to the 5-foot piece of plywood he stands behind for his shows.

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The trick to a successful puppet show is opening the puppets’ mouths for every syllable and keeping their heads pointed down so the audience can see their eyes, Walsh said.

“The Three Little Pigs” will be opened with a juggling act by We’re Not Clowns, and Andy Pratt will play the piano. Walsh may also perform “Old McDonald” and “The Mouse and the Lion.”

First Impressions of Routt County has been sponsoring events across the county this month as part of the Month of the Young Child. Tonight’s show is the family event.

“It is something for families to do that is affordable,” said Renee Donahue, early childhood manager for First Impressions. “Kids love (puppet shows), and parents love them, too. It’s a good activity to do together.”

The Month of the Young Child is an opportunity for communities to host local events that build support for early childhood programs that foster young children’s early learning and growth. First Impressions, a county agency, is dedicated to recognizing the social and economic challenges that face families in Routt County, and it works to ensure that young children will be provided adequate resources and programs for a favorable, fair, healthy, right and safe start.

What: Puppet and juggling show for the Month of the Young Child

When: 6:30 p.m. today

Where: Steamboat Mountain Theater in Ski Time Square

Cost: $5 adults, $1 children

Call: (866) 707-4648