Dell'Arte's 26th annual Mad River Festival, running June 16 through July 17, is a month-long romp in the Blue Lake sunshine featuring theatrical thrills, foot tapping music and loads of family fun with larger-than-life puppets and performances to dazzle the young and young at heart. This year's festival is centered on Dell'Arte's current initiative "The River, Our Home," which looks at local watersheds and our relationships with them. Following that theme, the main stage show this summer is The Big Thirst, a comic musical mystery tour that seeks to discover what's happened to a disappearing precious resource. It premieres June 16 at 8 p.m. at the Rooney Amphitheater ($18, $15, $10) and plays through July 3. Other festival highlights in June include the Big Top Family Series: Cowgirl Tricks with "America's funniest cowgirl" Karen Quest trick roping and whip cracking her way around the Pierson Big Top Hammer Circus Tent, June 19 and 26 at 2 p.m. ($10, $5), and Mad Lab, an evening of edgy, experimental works on June 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Carlo Theatre (donation).
In July, the festival plays on with Eureka Symphony's: Peter and the Wolf and Instrument Petting Zoo, the racy Red Light in Blue Lake: Adult Cabaret, Humboldt Folklife Festival, a free all-day festival in downtown Blue Lake and more. Visit www.dellarte.com for a full schedule of events and ticket information.