HUNDREDS of children joined Bolton Food Festival to enjoy the first year of the Mad Hatter’s Tea Party.

Children of all ages enjoyed mask-making, a musical performance and snack with characters from Alice in Wonderland including, the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts and the Cheshire Cat.

Brother and sister Pixie-Rose Davies aged five and seven-year-old Joel Davies travelled with their mother from Manchester to enjoy the festival.

Pixie-Rose came dressed for the occasion in her Alice in Wonderland fancy dress. She said: “It was really good, and made me laugh, my favourite character is Alice.”

The tea party took place in Alice’s Wonderland Marquee, set up by Bolton’s Octagon Theatre in the town centre.

The marquee was filled with decorations based on the classic Lewis Carroll novel.

Elizabeth Newman from the Octagon Theatre said: “The idea was to create an immersive and magical feeling for the children. We want them to walk in and feel the magic grass beneath their feet and the flying playing cards above their heads and there are big letters to celebrate words and language.

“We want children to come and play and have fun and to make something and pretend to be the characters.”

“There are about 200 people in each session and they’ve been selling out, it has been really successful."

Sonny Whatmough, aged four, from Bolton enjoyed making the masks the most. His mother, Mel Johnston said: “It’s absolutely brilliant, the children are loving it, the atmosphere is great, they’ve really engaged with the children and made them laugh.”

The children enjoyed juice, sandwiches, yoghurts, fruit and a chocolate pasty before making their way out of the party.

The marquee is one of the main children’s attraction during the festival and tickets can still be bought for across the weekend from the Octagon Website. Tickets are £5 per child, £2.50 adults and can also be bought on the day if places are still available.