Centralia Downtown Association to host ‘Alice in Flowerland’ block party, fundraiser at British Bites


On Wednesday, April 24, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., the Centralia Downtown Association (CDA) will host an “Alice in Flowerland” block party at British Bites in Centralia.

The event, which aims to raise money for the annual flower baskets in downtown Centralia, is free, family-friendly and welcomes any member of the community. Costumes are encouraged but not required.

The Lewis Carroll-inspired block party will feature a number of activities, including seedling planting hosted by Blue Zones Activate Lewis County, balloons from the Mad Hatter Play Cafe, a selection of food from British Bites and a bloom bar hosted by Fern Ridge Floral & Design where guests can create their own Alice-inspired bouquet to take home.

“We’re always excited about our fun events, but this Alice-themed one has us absolutely mad as a hatter,” said MacKenzie McGee, executive director of the CDA. “Everyone is going down the rabbit hole and getting into the spirit of the event, and I think that’s going to be really palpable for everyone who comes out.”

While the event is free, the CDA is raising money to support the annual placement of flower baskets in downtown Centralia. Donations toward helping downtown bloom during spring and summer of 2024 can be made via downtowncentralia.org or in person by cash or check. Baskets can also be dedicated in honor or memory of a loved one, as well as sponsored by businesses. Flower basket sponsorships also make lovely Mother’s Day gifts, as they are hung up the week before Mother’s Day in May.

British Bites may not be a part of the historic downtown core, but one of the CDA’s main goals for 2024 is expanding the downtown Hub City love to the “edges,” and hosting events outside the historic core is just one small step toward that goal.

British Bites is no stranger to Alice-themed events. It host an annual Mad Tea Party at its Puyallup location and will be bringing that same flare to Centralia for the Alice in Flowerland party.

“We are honored and excited to be hosting this quarter’s CDA Block Party. Even more, looking through the looking glass. It’s a theme we know very well at British Bites,” said Lori West, owner of British Bites. “We can’t wait to meet more of our community and celebrate this lovely event. Check your clocks and don’t be late.”

And of course, it wouldn’t be a “garden” party without flowers. Boutique florist Fern Ridge Floral & Design’s bouquet bar will feature a wonderland of funky blooms for guests to select from and will help attendees assemble their own party favor, according to the CDA.

“In the Bloom Bar, we will be featuring flowers with vibrant colors, imaginative textures and playful accents,” said Becca Williams, owner of Fern Ridge Floral & Design. “From the Queen of Hearts’ royal ‘painted’ roses to the Mad Hatter’s eccentric daisies, every bouquet will reflect the whimsy of the timeless story.”

For younger party attendees, Lisa Sills, of the Mad Hatter Play Cafe, is bringing cheery balloons, while Blue Zones Activate Lewis County is providing a flower pot decorating activity planned so that children can really dig into the event.