It is said that nothing except tobacco smoke spread through the British Empire as rapidly as croquet. But since its formal introduction in 1851, the rules have changed as frequently as the playing field. Today, one might play Bicycle Croquet in Austria, which allows only ten seconds per play and disallows human contact with the ground; Overland Croquet in Berkeley, which may be played throughout weeks, up mountains and over bodies of water; or Mondo Croquet in the more civilized parts of Oregon, which favors sledgehammers and bowling balls. Surely the most famous game of croquet in history employed live flamingos as mallets, hedgehogs as balls, and living soldiers as arches. Celebrate the enduring genius of Lewis Carroll and the curious delight of the game at the Alice in Wonderland Tea Party Croquet Tournament. Come in costume and play with the Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat, and the Mad Hatter, who model clothes by six of the citys most innovative artisans, and enjoy a teatime performance by XOX Burlesque and Lucid Dawn Circus, a trunk sale, and plenty of sticky wickets.
Sun., June 8, 1 p.m., 2008