Passion Works Studio will hold a parade like none other this weekend.

Passion Works’ Parade in Place flips the idea of a parade on its head, Patty Mitchell, executive director of Passion Works, said. Spectators will drive by to watch the parade as Passion Works’ staff and volunteers stand in costume at the Zenner House, 30 Utah Place. 

The drive-by event runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. The Parade in Place will feature local Passion Works icons Honey for the Heart puppets, Power 105’s Jambulance and an in-car photo booth. 

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What: Passion Work Parade in Place

When: Sunday, May 31, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Athens East Side, Zenner House, 30 Utah Place 

Admission: Free

Parade-goers can tune in to Power 105 collectively as they drive through and watch the parade, Mitchell said. The in-car photo booth will be set up for a photographer to take pictures of people in their cars with the Zenner House in the background.

It was somewhat easy for Passion Works to adapt to the pandemic’s circumstances, Mitchell sais. 

“(We’re) passionate about social distancing,” Mitchell said. “We’ve really wanted to say, ‘How can we stay relevant and benefit the community?’ We’ve really focused on mask-making ... The thing is, we’re small but mighty ... We've been using what we have and responding to need for a long time. We’ve been in practice for this.”

Mitchell is looking forward to creating a special, happy moment during the pandemic. 

“People can look back on this and say ‘remember that?’ It's a happy memory — a shared experience for the community — and when we’re all so separated, we can still have this bubble of fun to share.”

As a nonprofit, the event also serves as a kick-off for Passion Works’ endowment and fundraising, Mitchell said. One organization working with Passion Works is the Foundation for Appalachian Ohio, or FAO. 

Megan Wanczyk, vice president of communications and programs at FAO, said FAO is working with Passion Works to help create both short-term and long-term funding. 

“(Our goal is to) really partner with them and create their endowment fund to really help them grow permanent dollars to sustain their mission, both as it is now and to help it evolve over time,” Wanczyk said. “(Passion Works) is so well-known here in Athens — it's really such an important piece of the community because of the way that it uplifts art and (celebrates) creativity and uplifts the human spirit.”

Parade in Place will also have baked goods from Brenen’s Coffee Cafe and Fluff Bakery. Fluff has been working with Passion Works for about five years now, Jessica Kopelwitz, owner of Fluff, said. 

“I met Patty Mitchell and was inspired by her creativity and mission with Passion Works, and how they really work to reach so many people with love and creativity and giving people an outlet for that creativity,” Kopelwitz said.

Kopelwitz is excited for the parade. Fluff is baking chocolate chip cookies to give away at the event this Sunday. This isn’t the first time Fluff and Passion Works have worked together, Kopelwitz said. 

Fluff has partnered with Passion Works in previous endeavors and has Passion Works on display in the restaurant. The bakery even has a Passion Works cupcake, Kopelwitz said. The support has been mutual. 


Passion Works' parade route. Provided by Patty Mitchell.


The Parade in Place is off East State Street, beginning on Charles Street and ending on Utah Place. 

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