Work is well under way on Alice’s wonderland.
Designers are hard at work putting together the floats for this year’s South Tyneside Festival summer parade.
The Alice in Wonderland-themed event will hit the streets in South Shields on Saturday, July 4.
More than 2,000 people are set to take part in the parade, which pays tribute to the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, which was partly penned in Whitburn.
Paul Shriek, artistic director for the parade, was hard at work with his team yesterday assembling the colourful floats that will carry characters, including the Queen of Hearts and Alice, from the Town Hall to Bents Park.
He said: “The idea of Wonderland has hatched from Matt Fox and myself’s imaginations and it’s a very interesting place so we’ve tried to make it very colourful, interesting and exciting because whenever someone looks at something like Wonderland or Oz or Neverland, they have certain expectations so hopefully we can bring our version of a Wonderland to South Shields.
Whenever someone looks at something like Wonderland or Oz or Neverland, they have certain expectations so hopefully we can bring our version of a Wonderland to South Shields.Paul Shriek, artistic designer
“It’s going to look fabulous and very colourful. We always wanted to have that Disney feel and we’ve got between 1,500 and 2,000 people involved in the parade this year which has been a great response from the community.”
The Summer Parade, sponsored by Careline Lifestyles, will also feature live performances by the Military Marching Band, classical music crossover act, Silken Strings and vocalist Jayne McKenzie, who’ll be portraying the Queen of Hearts.
Jayne will also be performing a host of Kylie tracks immediately after the event in Bents Park, where she’ll be joined by other artists, including Scarlet Street.
Moya Goodyear, business and marketing manager of Careline Lifestyle, which runs a number of care homes throughout the borough, said: “It’s a fantastic opportunity to be a part of the parade and it’s looking fantastic.
“Some of our service users have been involved in making the flowers to decorate the floats and they’re all very excited to head down and see the parade.”
Coun Alan Kerr, deputy leader of South Tyneside Council, with responsibility for culture and leisure, added: “The floats are looking really fantastic – we’re going to have six of them all together, with an act on each of them.
“We’ll even see our Red Queen transform into Kylie Minogue to keep people entertained once they reach Bents Park.
“There’s going to be something for everybody and we’ve got about 2,000 people taking part. We haven’t had the floats for a while either so I think it’s going to be a brilliant way to start the festival.”