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Down the rabbit hole: Bisbee gears up for third annual 'Alice' cosplay takeover

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alice in bisbeeland

“Magic Kenny Bang Bang” hosted the first ever Alice in Bisbeeland event April 20-23, 2017.

BISBEE — What better way to celebrate Easter weekend than with a White Rabbit and a March Hare?

Alice In Bisbeeland — which founder Kenny Stewart claims is the country’s only entire-town Alice in Wonderland cosplay takeover — will transport Bisbee residents through the looking glass starting on Thursday night. Revelers can dress as their favorite characters from the classic Lewis Carroll tales and make their way through Alice-themed pub crawls, street dances and other events throughout the weekend during one of the county’s, if not the country’s, most unique parties.

“I always felt that when you go through the tunnel to Bisbee, it feels like you’re falling down the rabbit hole, because it feels like Bisbee is no place that you’ve ever experienced,” said Stewart, a local magician and proprietor of The Bisbee Séance Room. Stewart, who is more commonly known by the moniker “Magic Kenny Bang Bang,” first came up with the concept for “Bisbeeland” in 2017.

“It’s just such a quirky town, and we have things like the Pirate Weekend, and I thought it would be fun to have the only take-over-(the)-town cosplay,” Stewart said.

Although Alice in Bisbeeland is still in its early years, the town has fully embraced the event, which pulls in between 500 and 1,000 people, Stewart said. While the evening parties and shows are predominantly for grown-ups, there will be an Alice-themed tea party for the little ones at the Eldorado Suites Hotel from 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, he said.

The highlight of the weekend will be the beheading of the Queen of Hearts at a closed-off Brewery Gulch at 10.30 p.m. on Saturday, a spectacle preceded by fire dancers, jugglers, musicians, and other performers.

“It’s taken off so well,” Stewart said. “Not just because of the community support, but because Bisbee is just a fun party town.”

While Alice-themed costumes are encouraged, anyone who wants to join in the fun is more than welcome, regardless of whether they manage to dig a Mad Hatter top hat out of their closets.

“It’s continued to grow, and I hope that they come down,” Stewart said.

For more information about the schedule and individual events, visit the Alice in Bisbeeland 2019 Facebook page.

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