January 18, 2022

Fairy tales come true

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Isabella Sophia Trompa-Bray, 4, of Lansing, dresses as Elsa from the Disney movie “Frozen” during a Princess Tea Party Saturday at the 1890 House in Cortland.

Isabella Trompa-Bray, 4, waved and smiled — dressed as Elsa from the movie “Frozen” — dancing through the room of the 1890s House on Saturday, saying hello to everyone at the Princess Tea Party.

Bray watches “Frozen” at least once a week, so it was no surprise to her mother, Nely Trompa-Bray, when Isabella wanted to dress as Elsa for the Princess Tea Party, which drew nearly 60 people to the museum on Tompkins Street in Cortland.

“She loves ‘Frozen,’ “ Trompa- Bray said. “She thinks Elsa is beautiful.”

The event, originally at the Phelps Mansion Museum in Binghamton, included tea, hot chocolate and sweets, like cookies. Actresses, members of Half Light Theater, did a skit from the story of Alice and the Wonderland.

“I’m a big ‘Alice and the Wonderland’ fan,” said coordinator Missy Harris. “Even at this age it brings me joy and so I thought it would open up a world to kids who may not have read the books.”

But for Harris, she said the best part about hosting the tea party will always be the children.

“I love to see them smile and it’s cute when they come in their little dresses,” she said.

However, Harris said age doesn’t matter, anyone can be a princess, even if for a day.

“We get everyone from babies to the oldest member we’ve had was 97,” she said.

Three princesses — Elsa, Rapunzel and Moana — also joined the princesses for tea.

Elsa was many of the participants’ favorite princess, with several people dressing up as her.

Jean Graham, who played Elsa, said she enjoys seeing the children react when she walks in the room.

Half Light Theatre actress Jean Graham, of Binghamton, plays the role of Elsa from the movie “Frozen” during a Princess Tea Party in Cortland.

“Seeing their faces light up and just looking at us as these role models is amazing,” she said.

And although Sanaa Parker, 5, didn’t dress up as Elsa, it, too, was her favorite princess, along with her friend Juliana Clague, 4.

Sanaa attended the tea party as part of her birthday, said her grandmother Akima Chives.

“She loves princesses so we thought it’d be a good party for them,” Chives said. “I think she’s had a princess party since she was born. She’s done the pink princess party, Belle, Ariel, Tiana and now Elsa.”

Jackie Clague said the girls even have a drawer dedicated to all of their princess stuff.

“We call it the pretty drawer,” Clague said. “They’ve got dresses, jewelry and of course tiaras.”

For 15-year-old actress Kiara Jones, who played Alice, the tea party brought back memories from her childhood and tea parties with her aunt.

“I would go over to my aunt’s house for sleepovers and she had this collection of tea cups we’d use,” Jones said. “She’s always had a new set when I came and there were always two that were dedicated to me.”