Organizer of the Mad Hatters Parade and Tea Party, Catherine Larnon-Trout, says participants are welcome to bring their own hats or make one at the event on Saturday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Organizer of the Mad Hatters Parade and Tea Party, Catherine Larnon-Trout, says participants are welcome to bring their own hats or make one at the event on Saturday. (Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS)

Mad hats and high tea to bring attention to mental illness in Memorial Peace Park

The Mad Hatter’s Parade and Tea Party takes place May 18

The third annual Mad Hatters Parade and Tea Party is taking over Memorial Peace Park in an effort to end the stigma of people living with mental illness.

Last year the event quadrupled in size compared to the inaugural year, said organizer Catherine Larnon-Trout, founder of the Mad Hatters Foundation, who believes the party will keep on growing.

Theinaugural event alone had about 500 attendees.

“I think it is just time, people are deciding that they can talk about mental illness where we couldn’t talk about it before,” said Larnon-Trout.

This year the free event will have the same template of the previous two years because Larnon-Trout is hoping to branch out into other communities. She wants to keep the event simple with entertainment, a parade of hats, a tea party at the end and then “everybody happily going home”.

The event runs from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. on May 18 at 11900 224 Street, and will start off with dancing, singing and hat making.

Then there will be the Parade of Hats around the park ending with prizes for the “craziest” looking hats.

At 12:30 p.m. high tea will be served.

This year the Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver has raised their sponsorship from 100 high teas to 250 for 250 people.

They will provide a selection of teas and scones, cakes and little sandwiches with no crusts on them.

Larnon-Trout says that they are getting more and more sponsorships every year.

“It is just time for people to start coming out of the closet, so to speak, and start talking about mental illness like any other illness,” she said.

All donations will go to the British Columbia Schizophrenia Society.

For more information contact Larnon-Trout at 604-308-1949 or at

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Both vehicles and pedestrians share Dewdney Trunk Road east of 240th Street.  (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
LETTER: Dewdney Trunk Road in major need of work, too

It’s great to once hear Maple Ridge is again planning to extend Abernethy Way to 256th Street

This Santa’s workshop display on 117A Ave. in Pitt Meadows is one of many wonderful stops on the holiday lights tour. (Special to The News)
Pitt Meadows residents compete for best holiday lights display

City provides map to lit houses and asks onlookers to vote for their favourites

Max Rafuse waves to well-wishers from his front porch during a drive-by birthday celebration. (Colleen Flanagan/The News)
Maple Ridge man celebrates 99th birthday in COVID-19 fashion

A 10-metre-long sign adorned the front lawn of the house wishing Max Rafuse a happy birthday

Alouette Heights.
Shelter advocates speak out against guest ban

Puts residents of Maple Ridge supportive housing at risk of overdose says Red Braid Alliance

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation at the legislature, Nov. 30, 2020. (B.C. government)
Hockey team brought COVID-19 back from Alberta, B.C. doctor says

Dr. Bonnie Henry pleads for out-of-province travel to stop

B.C. Premier John Horgan on a conference call with religious leaders from his B.C. legislature office, Nov. 18, 2020, informing them in-person church services are off until further notice. (B.C. government)
B.C. tourism relief coming soon, Premier John Horgan says

Industry leaders to report on their urgent needs next week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

An RCMP cruiser looks on as a military search and rescue helicopter winds down near Bridesville, B.C. Tuesday, Dec. 1. Photo courtesy of RCMP Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey
B.C. Mountie, suspect airlifted by Canadian Armed Forces from ravine after foot chase

Military aircraft were dispatched from Comox, B.C., say RCMP

Photo by Dale Klippenstein
Suspect tries to thwart police in Abbotsford with false 911 call about men with guns

Man twice sped away from officers and then tried to throw them off his trail

An 18-year old male southern resident killer whale, J34, is stranded near Sechelt in 2016. A postmortem examination suggests he died from trauma consistent with a vessel strike. (Photo supplied by Paul Cottrell, Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
“We can do better” — humans the leading cause of orca deaths: study

B.C. research reveals multitude of human and environmental threats affecting killer whales

A logo for Netflix on a remote control is seen in Portland, Ore.,Aug. 13, 2020. Experts in taxation and media say a plan announced Monday by the government will ultimately add to the cost of digital services and goods sold by foreign companies. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Jenny Kane
‘Netflix tax’ for digital media likely to raise prices for consumers, experts say

The government says Canadian companies already collect those taxes when they make digital sales

Most Read