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Giant Puppet parade a smash hit…again

Organisers estimate that about 15,000 people turned up to watch Siem Reap’s annual giant puppet parade on Saturday night, which raised more than $20,000.

The parade has been declared a roaring success, with hundreds marching in the parade carrying a dazzling array of giant puppets.

This year the puppets were equipped with a full range of lights and audio, casting an impressive figure at night.

“We’re really happy with the parade, all the artists worked really hard and so did all our volunteers,” said spokesperson Bina Hanley.

“The Cambodian turn-out was unprecedented. People were lined up all along the river and at the park they were so many just waiting for us. It was amazing.

“We’re just coming down off the cloud now. I can’t believe it’s over. It was a huge success – messages have been pouring in from Facebook, twitter, emails, everyone is happy and had such a good time.”

There were slight problems with gaps in the parade, with the parade separating into two at one point, somewhat exacerbated by an overenthusiastic crowd pouring onto the bridge in front of the parade.

By all accounts the puppets worked flawlessly. There were no major technical hitches and crowd favourites included the intricate vulture, the dazzling honey bee, and the animated Hanuman and frog puppets.

Each puppet was followed by a tuk-tuk equipped with a loud speaker pumping out the appropriate noise for each puppet, including a particularly resonating ribbit behind the frog puppets.

The parade ended in the Independence Gardens where a party was staged for the kids involved in the parade. Festival insiders report the after-party at Raffles was a raucous affair.

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