Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 13.20.41Alice in Wonderland is getting a little help from her friends, ahead of her appearance at one of the North East’s biggest events.

The iconic character, created by Lewis Carroll more than 150 years ago, is being brought to life as part of the South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade 2015.

The event, featuring more than 2000 participants, will take over the streets of South Shields on Saturday July 4, with a host of floats, themed-entertainment and costumed characters.

To help Alice prepare for her starring role, The Chain Gang knitting group at Woodhouse Court sheltered accommodation, South Shields, are knitting her a unique floral bouquet, which she will present to the Mayoress of South Tyneside.

They were joined for a special workshop by members of the Friends of North and South Marine Parks, who are also decorating their own hats, posies and baskets to be carried during the parade.

Joan Eggleston, of the Friends of North and South Marine Parks, said: “We’ve been involved in the South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade since the group launched in 2007 and are thrilled to be stretching our creative muscles again this year.

“We are especially excited to be a part of this year’s parade which is going to be a real visual spectacle.”

The South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade, sponsored by Careline, is celebrating 150 years since the publication of Alice in Wonderland and is being designed by Artistic Director, Paul Shriek and his design partner Matt Fox.

It forms part of the wider South Tyneside Festival, organised by South Tyneside Council, which offers three months of free live music and entertainment from June until the end of August.

Other highlights in this year’s events include a Summer Fayre in Bents Park on June 27, Proms in the Park on Sunday July 5 and four consecutive Sunday concerts headlined by 5ive (July 12), Billy Ocean (July 19), Sophie Ellis Bextor and The Feeling (July 26) and North East stars Joe McElderry, Collabro and Lola Saunders (Aug 2).

There will also be live music at the open air amphitheatre every Thursday and Saturday during June, brass band performances every Sunday afternoon throughout June, July and August, Kids Fun Fest children parties on Tuesdays andThursday from July 18 to August 20 and Harton Quays Park Craft Markets on the first Sunday of the month from June to September.  All of these events are free to attend.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “The Summer Parade is one of the highlights of the South Tyneside Festival and this year will be the biggest yet.

“It is wonderful to see so many community groups getting involved and I am really looking forward to see what the Woodhouse Court residents, the Friends of North and South Marine Parks and the other participants have been able to create.”

For more information and full listings for the South Tyneside Festival 2015 go to www.visitsouthtyneside.co.uk search for South Tyneside Events on Facebook, follow STynesideEvents on Twitter or call the South Tyneside Visitor Information Centre on 0191 424 7788.