By Sgt. Apryl N. Bowman, 24th Press Camp Headquarters:
(El Paso, Texas, Oct. 19, 2017)
The enchanting High Tea event was sugar and spice and everything nice at the Mickelsen Community Library here Saturday.
Young girls were dressed as princesses, fairies and everything in between for a fancy tea party that included the vibrancy and influence of the English culture.
Although the words “tea party” may conjure up images of gentry sipping tea with pinkie fingers extended, tea parties are not just for the Old English set. Tea parties are in vogue for women of all ages and are becoming increasingly popular among younger girls who long to dress up and act beyond their age.
“This is a fabulous experience for my daughter and I,” said 1st Lt. Wooten Cheon, a parent who came dressed in a suit. “It’s a great opportunity to experience the culture.”
The tea party began right at noon in a spacious room with walls painted in hues of blue, yellow and pink.
Nancy Cochiolo, a library technician, gave rules of proper etiquette and read stories about tea parties. After the stories, the young girls were served lunch at a long dining table decorated with dainty teapots, cups and saucers, forks and spoons, a sugar bowl with sugar cubes, a milk pitcher and a tea strainer.
The High Tea menu included quiche, finger sandwiches, pastries, an array of cookies, cakes, scones with jam and clotted cream and more.
Once lunch was complete, the young girls moved to the crafting table where they created necklaces, bracelets and crafts using their creativity.
“I can’t say enough great things about this event,” said Allison Noland, a parent at the event. “The food was delicious and the crafting was a huge hit.”
The tea gave young girls an opportunity to stretch their manners and etiquette skills.
“This event teaches children how to interact socially face to face,” said retired Air Force Staff Sgt. Juan Velasquez. “Spending time with my daughter, but also seeing her interact with the other young girls really makes this a great experience.”
Though this was the first time the library held the event, it had a great turnout.
“Within the first couple of days of opening registration for the event, it was full,” Cochiolo said. “It was popular and the girls enjoyed it.”
The High Tea event isn’t the only event that is held at the Mickelsen Community Library and the staff encourages families to look out for future events by following their Facebook page, “Mickelsen Community Library” or view events and posters the Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation advertisements.
“There are a lot of good programs at the library,” Cochiolo said. “Especially with the holidays coming up, we are going to be doing a lot of fun things for the children.”
The library has hopes of continuing with new events such as a Mad Hatter Tea Party, Superhero Day, and a variety of parties throughout the year that will include different types of people.
Cochiolo, Ashley Wagoner, Erin Mettler and Jamie Buckner, library technicians, coordinate the library events.
Velasquez urged parents to attend.
“You really have to support these events,” Velasquez said. “The staff does a great job in putting together these events here, and if there is no support, the events go away.”