Walking in an Alice Wonderland

Councillor Alan Kerr and Rahul Sharma, Chief Executive of Careline Lifestyles, join designers Matt Fox and Paul Shriek to launch the Alice in Wonderland theme of this year's South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade.
Councillor Alan Kerr and Rahul Sharma, Chief Executive of Careline Lifestyles, join designers Matt Fox and Paul Shriek to launch the Alice in Wonderland theme of this year's South Tyneside Festival Summer Parade.

LITERATURE will be brought to life as South Tyneside gets transformed into a Wonderland for a summer bonanza.

The magical world of Alice in Wonderland will take centre stage in South Shields at this year’s South Tyneside Summer Festival.

The theme was chosen to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Lewis Carroll’s classic children’s tale ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’, which is known for its assortment of colourful characters, including the White Rabbit, Cheshire Cat, March Hare, Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts.

The much loved characters will be on display on a series of floats in the spectacular Summer Parade, which wil make its way from South Shields Town Hall to the seafront on Saturday, July 4.

Councillor Alan Kerr, Deputy Leader of South Tyneside Council with responsibility for Culture and Leisure, said: “Alice in Wonderland is such an iconic tale in children’s literature. It remains a firm favourite among generations of families around the world.

“It is fitting that in this milestone year for Lewis Carroll we bring the curious world of Wonderland and Alice’s adventures to South Tyneside.

“The Borough is one of few places around the UK to still hold a summer parade of this kind and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever with an energetic Alice-themed celebration.

“We would urge people to make sure the fourth of July is in their diary. As the White Rabbit would say, it’s a very important date so don’t be late! Join us and line the route for what is set to be a real spectacle of colour and sound through the streets of South Shields.”

Lewis Carroll’s connections with South Tyneside have been well documented over the years.

It is generally accepted that Carroll was inspired to write his poem The Walrus and the Carpenter, which featured in the novel Through the Looking Glass, during a stay with relatives in the picturesque coastal village of Whitburn in the 1860s. The famous English author’s links with the village are also commemorated by a statue of Carroll in Whitburn Library.

South Tyneside Council has enlisted the creative talents of acclaimed couture designer Paul Shriek and his design partner Matt Fox to capture Carroll’s weird world of Wonderland in the Summer Parade.

They will be working with more than 1,000 children and adults from local schools and community groups over the coming months to develop creative ideas and to produce fabulous costumes and colourful decorations for dressing the floats for the procession.

The annual South Tyneside Festival, organised by South Tyneside Council, will return in June with a three month line up of free activities, from live music in the Amphitheatre, open air Sunday concerts to family friendly events and entertainment.

Full details of the entertainment programme including the Sunday concert acts will be announced soon.