Montreal

'Très cool': Montrealers give warm welcome to visiting giant marionettes

The event was coordinated in honour of the city's 375th anniversary celebrations, and features two larger-than-life marionettes on a weekend-long journey.

Massive marionettes will be playing out their story in Montreal all weekend long

Crowds came out Friday morning to see the Little-Girl Giant waking up in Jeanne Mance Park. (CBC)

Hundreds of people came out to watch as a giant marionette, which is three storeys high, woke up and started to wander through the streets of Montreal.

The event was co-ordinated in honour of the city's 375th anniversary celebrations, and features two larger-than-life marionettes on a weekend-long journey. 

Montrealer Chloe Tremblay called the procession "incredible," saying that as a puppeteer herself, she knows how much work goes into a performance like the Giants.

"I think it's really amazing. I've watched them so many times in videos on the Internet and today it's for real," she said. "It's a lot of work. I've manoeuvred big puppets but not as big as these ones. It's just a lot of energy for all of them."

Chloe Tremblay, a puppeteer herself, came out Friday afternoon to watch the procession. (CBC)

She said for the people pulling the strings, it can be exhausting.

"They switch roles and that's very important, because you can't keep on going for hours," she said. "The puppet is so heavy."

The Deep Sea Diver, the other marionette, began his march from the Montreal Science Centre around 4 p.m. on Friday.

Made by French company Royal de Luxe, the marionettes travel through the city and tell a story with their movements and interactions.

Each marionette requires a team of about 30 people to manoeuvre.

They can travel at an average speed of 2.25 km/h.

The three-day street performance as part of Montreal's birthday bash comes after the city's official anniversary on Wednesday May 17.

You can find a full schedule of the marionettes' route through the city here.

Organizers are asking people to walk, bike or take public transit if they want to see the Giants since some streets will be closed to traffic during the procession.

With files from Nantali Indongo

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