Patriotic Puppetry

Getting back to nature
Mark Poutenis

TUE 7/1

It's that time of year again. The massive roadside firework stands are set up. And if you're lucky, you might even get to stand outside for two hours and watch a fireworks display while being devoured by mosquitoes. But this Fourth of July, you might want a change of scenery. The Puppetry Arts Center of the Palm Beaches (1200 S. Congress Ave., No. 36, West Palm Beach) is at it again. Two-time Emmy award winner and ventriloquist Will Mercier presents "A Star Spangled Salute." Mercier breaks out his menagerie of puppets and performs live music to celebrate the red, white, and blue. Nothing says "I love America" like puppets. Show runs Tuesday through Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Cost is $4. Call 561-967-3231. -- Audra Shroeder

SUN 6/29

Folkin' Flags

When one thinks of folk art, often the images that come to mind are deeply rooted in Americana. Pieces of folk art tend to find wall space in homes that rely heavily on ducks and geese on bathroom rugs and shower curtains and dried corn and peppers hanging in the kitchen. Next to those ears of corn, you'll find a little sign with some pithy yet obvious quote such as "God Bless This Home" or "Momma's Kitchen." But if you think the Folk Art Flags workshop at Deerfield Island Park (1720 Deerfield Island Park, Deerfield Beach) goes hand in hand with such folksy finds, well, you'd be right. For $5 per person, folks of all ages scour the park from 10 a.m. to noon, searching for twigs and seeds. Following this scavenger hunt, a naturalist offers demonstrations on how to turn this newfound natural refuse into a folk-art flag. Those who have peppers and corn hanging in their kitchens already know what we're talking about. These homemade flags, or pictures thereof, have been cropping up in ever-increasing numbers in these ultrapatriotic times we live in. Be the first on your block to have your own. Call 954-360-1320. -- Dan Sweeney

TUE 7/1

Moms and Tots at Tree Tops

Even though Mother's Day is over, moms can still get a well-deserved break. Tree Tops Park (3900 SW 100th Ave., Davie) and Southwest District Natural Areas offer a monthly outdoor event called "Time Out for Mom." Adults and children age 6 and younger can learn about various nature and culture-related topics such as butterflies, native Florida plants and flowers, Seminole and Tequesta Indians, and coral reefs. This month's activities include a puppet show, butterfly identification, and a gardening demonstration. Children can participate in other events, such as coloring or storytime, or can learn along with Mom. Starts at 10 a.m. and costs $2. Call 954-370-3750. -- Audra Schroeder

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