A Hot Mess Halloween 

All the Saints Theater Company marks its eighth annual Halloween parade.

click to enlarge SCOTT ELMQUIST

Masks allow us to leave our identities behind and assume the facade of another. For artist Lily Lamberta, they combine with giant puppets, allowing her All the Saints Theater Company to comment on the state of the world with its eighth annual Halloween parade.

The theme is Funeral March for Free Love and Speech and addresses such hot-button topics as Edward Snowden, Chelsea Manning and gender issues. It begins in Monroe Park on Halloween night at 7 and marches through Oregon Hill, led by members of No BS! Brass band and a bike contingent to block car traffic.

Expect Day of the Dead and Apollo puppets and placards calling for an end to limits on freedom and maybe a mermaid sacrifice, according to Lamberta, who never misses a chance to poke fun at politicians and government. You also can expect the streets of the neighborhood to be lined with residents, party cups in hand, visitors and photographers capturing the spectacle.

Workshops to create the enormous puppets are held in the months running up to the parade at Love Bomb, a collective work space and theater at 6 E. 21st St. in Manchester, for those interested in being part of the process.

"We build stuff out of trash to reflect the love, honesty and cruelty in humanity," Lamberta says. "We celebrate the streets, noise and spontaneous puppetry." For specific dates and times of the workshops, search for the theater company on Facebook.

Last year's parade drew 600 participants and, as always, this year's welcomes anyone who wants to march and carry a puppet, mask or placard for the cause. Costumes are optional but you can be sure Lamberta will be wearing one.

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