Swindon Town Centre will be buzzing with free entertainment and activities for the whole family next month – inspired by all things Alice.
On Friday 3 and Saturday 4 June, an Alice spectacular will coincide with the launch of the Tim Burton’s new film Alice Through the Looking Glass, which opens in cinemas at the end of May.
There will be an abundance of free activities with Wharf Green transformed into a giant tea party zone offering children’s entertainment, competitions and prizes with the Mad Hatter and friends and a main stage with live music.
Giant games including croquet, chess, funfair rides and free face painting will be available. Visitors will also be able to take advantage of lunchtime offers from town centre eateries to enjoy in the family picnic area.
The Brunel Centre will host a display of giant Alice props for the all-important selfies, plus creative workshops with a Mad Hatter’s tea party theme and story-time readings in Waterstones. Marks and Spencer’s shop windows, on the upper floor of The Brunel Centre, will be displaying garments made by Swindon Academy’s students, all inspired by the Lewis Carroll story.
In The Parade Children will be rebuilding Humpty Dumpty from giant pieces of the egg-shaped character which will be hidden around the shops. There will also be free story telling and children’s games.
The fancy dress competition in Wharf Green is being sponsored by Skywalkers fancy dress shop in Faringdon Road, and Thamesdown Transport are offering free bus travel on 3 and 4 June for anyone dressed in an Alice themed costume. The Wyvern Theatre are running an Alice and Mad Hatter’s VIP competition on-line to win tickets for their shows.
Jane Stewart, Deputy General Manager of The Brunel has been involved in the organisation of the town-wide event. Jane said: “I know this is going to be a really great event, there’s so much going on and I’m delighted that we’ve managed to involve so many community organisations too. For instance, we’ve worked with The Salvation Army who are having a pop-up Alice Themed bike shop in The Brunel Arcade, and Artsite, the volunteer artists’ organisation will be displaying artwork created by them and service users from SWADS (Swindon Alcohol and Drugs Service) in Unit 15 of Brunel Arcade, next door to Sue Ryder.
“Swindon Stitch and Bitch ladies have got involved, once again, and have been busy knitting a woollen tea party that’s going to be on display on the upper level of Brunel Plaza between Boots and M&S. The ladies are once again raising money for Against Breast Cancer.”
The half-term Alice event is the result of partnership working between The Brunel Centre, inSwindon BID, The Parade and Regent Circus. Manager of inSwindon BID (Business Improvement District), Di Powell said: “This is an excellent example of what can be achieved with strong partnership working. Most people won’t realise that various areas of town centres are in fact owned and managed by several different organisations so, with differing budgets and priorities; it’s not always feasible for us all to work together. I’m really pleased that we have achieved an event for the whole of the town centre and I very much hope this model can be repeated in the future”.
All Alice activities on both days will take place between 11am and 4pm. For full details of all events see, swindontowncentre.co.uk