MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — In the Heart of the Beast Theatre opens to the public this weekend to begin building puppets for the annual MayDay Parade and Festival in south Minneapolis.

The first workshop will be held Saturday. Workshops will be held on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through April 28.

The workshops are free and open to everyone. Participants should wear clothes and shoes appropriate for painting, and can keep their creations after the parade.

The 37th annual MayDay Parade and Festival will be held Sunday, May 1. Thousands of people gather every year at the event to welcome spring back to Minneapolis.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)