AN ALICE in Wonderland themed festival is set to become a regional attraction.

One Planet Shop in Accrington decided to hold the Mad March With a Twist Of Steampunk event to celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight.

The festival will celebrate the area’s links with Alice Liddell, the inspiration for the story Alice in Wonderland, and at one time proprieter of Oak Hill Park.

The organisers said they were amazed when posting the event on Facebook to be contacted by groups across the North West interested in taking part.

Ethical goods store One Planet were inundated with queries from Fairtrade groups and enthusiasts of Steampunk, a Victorian science fiction genre.

One Planet manager Kerry Gormley said they chose a tea party theme, which became popular in the Victorian era, because tea is their most popular Fairtrade product.

Guests will be encouraged to dress up in Victorian clothes, partake of a tea party, visit stalls and dance to live music.

Kerry said: “We were inspired by a similar event in Yorkshire and now the whole of Yorkshire has Fairtrade status.

“It’s amazing how these things spread. We put the idea up on Facebook only intending to have it in the shop on a quite small scale.

“But soon Steampunk groups were getting in touch as they were quite excited at the idea. We were invited to meet people at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester to help us get some ideas.

“It is a wonderful way to celebrate Fairtrade and One Planet’s support of Fairtrade goods”.

The event is to be held at Oswaldtwisle’s Civic Arts Centre where One Planet are preparing to create a detailed Victorian Parlour for the main tea party.

Mad March with A Twist of Steampunk is to take place at the Union Road centre on Sunday March 3 at 3.30pm. To take part or for more information contact One Planet on 01254 383604.