Did you get ready for a fantastic summer day? On July 6th, the city of Oxford celebrated Lewis Carol’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Alice’s Day is an uncommon celebration that contains a rich history, dating back to 1865 when Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland was first published.
Charles Dodgson, otherwise known as Lewis Carol, took Alice Liddell and her sisters on a boating trip in Oxford up the famous River Thames. To entertain Alice and her sisters, he told them a story about a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole into Wonderland. Charles Dodgson wrote down the story after Alice had asked him to and ended up producing one of the most famous children’s novels. Alice’s Day is a celebration of the first telling of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
This year, the theme for Alice’s Day was ‘NONSENSE.’ Anyone who has read the novel can attest to the amount of fantastical and sometimes random components that are included within the story. Since most of the major shops and museums in Oxford partake in this magical celebration, Alice’s Day is truly out of sight.
Oxford houses many unique and historic buildings, but Alice’s Shop was the perfect place to begin the festivities. The store had a charming collection of Alice in Wonderland souvenirs and trinkets. On Alice’s Day, the staff dressed up as characters from the novel.
The local hotspots had family themed activities and local restaurants also provided “Alicean eats.” For instance, the world-famous Ashmolean Museum, the Vaults and Garden Cafe had a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party. A delicious ice-cream store, George and Danver revealed an Alice themed ice cream flavor on the day of the event. Moreover, visitors went to The Perch which is a local pub that supposedly inspired Lewis Carol.
Because of the special events in Oxford’s museums and libraries, Alice’s Day is rife with history. The Bodleian Library featured some of Salvador Dali’s extraordinary work, which was centered on the novel. He created mixed media pictures and watercolors of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that were simply vibrant.
The Old Fire Station, Christ Church Cathedral, and Blackwell’s Bookshop all explained and presented information about the “nonsense” genre in literature. Locals and children even competed in a nonsense poetry contest with a cash prize. A Pilgrimage Walk with a historian at 4 pm charted the route of Charles Dodgson’s original boat trip.
Alice’s Day is an annual, spectacular day for locals and visitors. Only one small fragment of Oxford’s deep history is celebrated, but everyone in Oxford is able to fall down the rabbit hole and, on the other side, become a kid again.