LARRY DOBSON, aka “Stiltman”, “Waktal”, “Merlin”, “Doug Skull”, “Phoenix the Firebird”, “Garuda” “Uncle Sam”, etc., has entertained crowds as a giant stiltwalker at festivals, parades, company picnics, concerts and other festive events throughout Western Washington Puget Sound and the Seattle area for over 40 years. He began as the Pied Piper in a children’s theater troupe, The Pied Piper Players”, that toured the Pacific Northwest, and as a tall Uncle Sam in parades in the early 70’s. Since then he has strutted his stuff at such diverse PNW events as Bumbershoot, Folklife, 4th of July from Gasworks Park to Fort Lewis, formal balls at the Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Convention Center, Hilton, Olympic, Weston and other hotels, events for Bon-Macy, U.S. Bank, First Night in Tacoma, Company Picnics for Microsoft, Holand-America Lines, Eddie Bauer & HP, Emerald Downs racetrack, auctions, weddings, parades and hundreds of festivals of all kinds. Larry has danced on stilts at Grand Mythological Balls, Seattle Peace Concerts, The Wiz musical, and at any event with music! He has M.C’d entertainment events on stilts, and is featured on a plaque in Seattle representing the Fremont Summer Solstice Parade. Although he has sadly neglected the Maxwelton Beach 4th of July Parade in recent years due to greed and false patriotism, Larry is still considered a Hometown Hero by some.
With his expanding repertoire of colorful characters and imaginative costumes, he is a favorite subject of photographs, including many appearing in newspapers and magazines. His very tall stilts are engineered for maximum stability and comfort, and afford him the tallest spectacle of any professional stiltwalker in the region. All of this creates an unforgettable experience for crowds – children talk about him for months after meeting this friendly giant. Booking agents bring him back year after year. He also creates magical mythological performance pieces with other talented musicians, dancers and stilt entertainers.