As part of Sunderland’s celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the classic children’s tale, the city’s Business Improvement District has organised four weekends of events.
The “Wear All Bonkers Here” programme kicks off this weekend – Aug 8 -9 – with a giant maze occupied by a philosophical caterpillar which will “magically” appear in the city’s Keel Square.
And on Thursday evening youngsters from the city’s Tavistock Nursery will be sowing the magical seeds to ensure that the maze will “grow” before it opens to the public.
Over the weekend visitors will be able to enter the maze and listen to the caterpillar pose a riddle, along with spending time with characters including Alice and the White Rabbit.
“This is going to be a spectacular month packed full of activities for everyone to enjoy,” said Ken Dunbar, Chief Executive of Sunderland BID.
“And because the events will move to a different city centre location each weekend, it will give us the opportunity to showcase just how much Sunderland has to offer.
“We’re delighted to be starting in the new Keel Square and bringing it to life before moving on to Park Lane, Market Square and Sunniside Gardens.”
Ken also praised the city’s local businesses who have supported the events and provided prizes and offers for people attending.
Other events include Eat Me Drink Me, with walking and talking Mad Hatter tables, food workshops with the Queen of Hearts and food tasting opportunities at Arizona in Park Lane Village on August 15 and 16.
On Sat 22 and Sunday 23 a giant throne will appear in the Market Square, where visitors will get the opportunity to have their photos taken with Alice and the White Rabbit.
Anyone having their photo taken at the giant grass throne will be in with the opportunity to “win the ads” which will be posted on a huge screen.
The final weekend – Sat 29 and Sun 30 – will see the activities move to the Sunniside area of the city, with a giant Mad Hatter’s Tea Party where everyone is being asked to take a picnic and dress up, along with the opportunity to pop one of 150 golden balloons which each contain a prize.
Each weekend event will be supported by a whole range of additional activities including lawn games, stalls, workshops and live entertainment.
There will also be a range of Alice-related events taking place during Sunderland’s Thursday late night shopping evenings, with free parking in council car parks from 3pm and at the Bridges from5.30pm.
For further information on all events visit www.experienceithere.co.uk