The XVII International Puppet Theaters Festival was held on May 19-24, 1996.

As part of the competition, the Bielsko-Biała audience could admire 5 theaters from Poland and 11 foreign performances. Banialuka hosted theatres from Croatia, the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Slovakia, Ukraine and Great Britain.

Additionally, 7 Polish performances were staged outside the competition. At BWA viewers could admire the exhibition "Dolls of the world" from the collection of the Doll Museum of the Central Puppet Theater Sergey Obraztsov in Moscow.