Picnics and performances were an apt way to welcome Alice and Wonderland to Hotham Park.
Friday’s event saw more than 300 people turn out for the unveiling of a new sculpture of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party by Simon Groves.
Debbie Northcott, the committee member of the Hotham Park Heritage Trust credited with coming up with the project, said it was simply ‘wonderful’.
“We were very lucky with the weather,” she added. “The day brought the whole community together, to see the whole park so fully with happy people was just wonderful.”
The sculpture came about thanks to the profit made at the 2016 Hotham Park County Fair. “Because we decided that is what we’d do before the fair, we were able to ask all the children who attended what they would like to see and almost unanimously Alice won,” said Debbie.
“It is practical because people can picnic there and it is a focus for what we are now calling the wonderland copse. Now, if we get a profit this year, the plan is to add character. It all depends on what we get from the 2017 fair but the hope is it will be a trail.”
There is sure to be high expectations, after craftsman Simon Groves was described as having ‘excelled himself’ with the sculpture. “We didn’t expect details like the table legs to be the clocks,” Debbie said. “It is quite extraordinary.”
Debbie added that ‘the icing on the cake’ was a performance by Knightstar Productions. “They put on a number from the show they are doing in June, it was lovely to have them,” Debbie said.
“I also have to thank Arun District Council for their contribution and New Look, who donated two mannequins – one which we dressed like Alice and the other like the Queen of Hearts.”
Attention for the trust now turns to the County Fair which falls on August 5 and 6, with an appeal being made for more volunteers to help on the day.
To find out more visit www.hothamparkheritagetrust.co.uk.
Knightstar Production’s Alice in Wonderland will be at Barnham Hall on June 3 and 4. See www.knightstarproductions.com for full details.