By GRACE GADDY
Ushering in the season with grace, the Sugar Plum Fairy will twirl once again during the third annual Nutcracker Tea this Saturday, presented by the Palestine Junior Service League.
The classic ballet-themed fundraiser event will take place at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., respectively, at the historic Carnegie Library Building, located on Queen Street in front of Palestine City Hall.
Traditional tea fare will be served including sandwiches, scones and desserts. There also will be a hot chocolate bar and a candy bar where attendants can fill up goodie bags with all sorts of sugary treats.
Local dance companies Steps of Faith (10 a.m.) and Academy of Dance (2 p.m.) will perform during the tea to original music from “The Nutcracker” ballet, during which the Sugar Plum Fairy is rumored to make an appearance.
Dana Matthews, PJSL member and chair of the event, called the tea “an experience you won't really get anywhere else.”
“It's just a very traditional thing,” she said. “It's great to do every year, with your mother, your grandmother, etc.”
The food will be catered by Ann Emigh Catering, a fellow PJSL member who Matthews said “does a great job every year,” and Cream & Coffee of Palestine will supply the tea.
“We're going to have all kinds of neat flavors,” Matthews said. “They are so good — and they're pretty too!”
Jennifer Willard Photography will provide a backdrop for attendants to pose with the Sugar Plum Fairy, and prints will be available for order.
Matthews said proceeds from the event will fund the Reagan Park Project, which has worked to expand and enhance the city's main park attractions. Past phases included adding and renovating playgrounds, and this year funds will go to improving the tennis courts.
“We're just trying to continue on through the rest of the park,” Matthews said.
Cookbooks featuring recipes from current and past PJSL members also will be available for purchase during the event, as well as Christmas tree ornaments.
Co-chairs of the Nutcracker Tea include PJSL members Lauren Gregory and Kasey Englehart.
Sponsors of the tea include: Palestine Junior Service League, Cream and Coffee, Sweet Lulu, Ann Emigh Catering, O’ Sweet Pea, Jennifer Willard Photography, Bella Photography, City of Palestine, Palestine Painted Cookie, Palestine Herald-Press, Academy of Dance and Steps of Faith Dance Center.
Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through Friday at O’ Sweet Pea, located in Palestine's historic district at 105 W. Oak St.