Washington Montessori School in Washington will present the sixth annual Puppetry Festival next month.

The school will host a series of four puppet performances throughout the month on Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m.

The shows are open to the public and geared toward children in pre-school and elementary school.

"We decided to do four shows in February this year because it's such a cold and bleak time of year--especially when you have young children," said Jill Skilton, director of media. "Going to a puppet show is a great way to spend a cold Saturday morning with your family."

The festival will kick off Feb. 4 with a performance of "Cinderella" by the Tanglewood Marionettes of Massachusetts.

Their production of "Cinderella" is based on the original tale, but with a few new surprises.

The cast includes more than 30 costumed marionettes.

The second performance, which will be held Feb. 11, will feature "Lion's Whiskers" by Catskill Puppet Theater of New York.

This is the first time the puppet theater will participate in the festival.

"Lion's Whiskers" is based on a traditional Ethiopian folktale and features original music and a multitude of masks and almost-life-sized puppets.

The third show, which will be held Feb. 18, will feature an original piece, "Puppet Potpourri," by the Puppet People of New York.

The show includes musical favorites like "The Entertainer" and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and includes hand puppets, mouth puppets and marionettes.

On Feb. 25, two performances of "Sir George and the Dragon" by Pumpernickel Puppets will be offered at 10:30 a.m. and 12:15 p.m.

The show includes a cast of colorful puppets, audience participation, live voices and sound effects.

The second performance will coincide with the school's annual Kid Expo.

Tickets to the school at 240 Litchfield Turnpike (Route 202) are $8.