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A day spent as princes, princesses

Children listen to stories on Saturday at the annual Prince and Princess Holiday Tea at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts on Route 30 in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

GLOVERSVILLE — Aela Dench of Johnstown was excited to meet Elsa, a character from the film “Frozen.”

“She loves princesses” especially Elsa, said her mother, Nicole, who brought her to the Prince and Princess Holiday Tea on Saturday at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts.

“I love seeing their eyes light up–it’s all worth it,” said Maddy Goehrig of Amsterdam, who was costumed as Elsa.

The annual event is where fantasy becomes reality as the children, dressed up as royalty themselves, are served and entertained by their favorite characters, courtesy of Foothills Family Productions.

Vanessa Sheppard of Gloversville took a photo of her granddaughter Cailee Caputo of Gloversville with the character Anna.

Emily Rose of Broadalbin holds her 3-year-old son, who is dressed as knight prince on Saturday at the annual Prince and Princess Holiday Tea at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts on Route 30 in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

“It’s great to spend the day with my granddaughter looking like a princess,” she said.

The tea party began in 2008 with about 20 children at the Vintage Cafe in Johnstown, then moved to the Gloverville Senior Center, and finally in 2015 at Nigra. This year’s event drew about 70 children, a full house.

Amelia Baldwin of Gloversville, who played Ariel, said theatrical events come natural to her because it runs in her family. “I love it, and I’ve just kind of grown up with it,” she said.

Roberta Esposito, who coordinated the tea, is a teacher of theater with the Transitions counterpart of the Nigra Center.

The children and their families were served juices, tea, small sandwiches and cookies.

Vanessa Sheppard of Gloversville takes a photo of her granddaughter Cailee Caputo of Gloversville with Princess Anna of "Frozen" on Saturday at the annual Prince and Princess Holiday Tea at the Paul Nigra Center for Creative Arts on Route 30 in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Eric Retzlaff)

Natakie Casement of Amsterdam poured tea for Cindy Kollar of Johnstown and others at Kollar’s table.

“I like to see the smiles on the kids’ faces and to be part of the community,” said Casement.

“I absolutely love seeing the joy we bring to the little ones,” said server Erin Goehrig of Amsterdam.

Samantha Boyle of Northville brought her granddaughter, Cecily Boyle, also of Northville, because “I wanted her to experience things that my daughter did.”

Emily Rose of Broadalbin brought her 3-year-old Landon dressed as a prince knight.

After the lunch, the children listened to stories narrated by the players and then were led in dancing.

Later, the Foothills actors sang as a group for the children.

At the end of the day, Santa Claus showed up as the star of the show.

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