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Once upon a time in Hamilton… a hatter went mad

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Here’s a page-turner you won’t want to miss.

Once upon a time, a nasty pandemic tore through the Hunter, the nation and the world, reaping havoc to whoever came in contact with it.

But, even if you’ve heard this story before, don’t despair, it has a happy ending.

After many postponements due to COVID-19, Hamilton’s three popular, long-standing bookshops, library and the newly-renovated James Street Plaza will be brimming with excitement on Thursday 4 November as the Hamilton Business Improvement Association (HBIA) presents Book Day 2021.

And, Cruella de Vil, Mary Poppins and The Mad Hatter are expected to delight passers-by, delivering dialogue and songs from their movies, giving away books and bookmarks.

The popular characters will come to life along Beaumont Street from 10am until 1pm.

Check out Qs Books at 10am or James Street Plaza from 10.45am.

If that’s too early, pop down to Rice’s Book Shop at 11.30am or MacLean’s Booksellers at 12.15pm.

All the fun then wraps up at Hamilton Library from 1pm.

“Hamilton is fortunate to be home to three of the city’s most iconic bookstores,” Hamilton Business Improvement Association chair Evan Reid said.

“Qs Books, MacLean’s Booksellers and, more recently, Rice’s Book Shop have been serving the discerning bookworm for more than three decades.

“We are also pleased to collaborate with Newcastle Theatre Company, who’ll assume the guise of various personalities for the day to once again bring some fun to the shopping precinct.”

Qs Books’ Sandra Maloy admitted she was keen to soak up the festive atmosphere.

“This is a great way to celebrate with the locals after coming out of lockdown,” she said.

“We offered home delivery and pick up from the store [during the restrictions].

“However, there’s nothing like being totally open to the public again.

“We plan to dress up as book characters, too, and have a big sale just to say thank you for the support.”

The Business Improvement Associations of Newcastle are not-for-profit independent organisations, which represent people who own or occupy commercial spaces in the precincts of Hamilton, Mayfield, Wallsend and Newcastle.

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