Fairy Tale Princesses Highlight of Redlands Tea Party

Audra Heflin playing Cinderella and Tiffany Hosler playing Belle of "Beauty and the Beast," read to a group of Micah House girls during the mother and daughter "Princess Tea Party' on Wednesday at the Burrage Mansion in Redlands. (John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer)

6/13/2012 REDLANDS – Malinda Madrid took time off work Wednesday afternoon to accompany daughter Cambria, 10, and dozens of other mother-daughter duos to a princess tea party held at the Burrage Mansion.

Storybook readings, sing-alongs, tea and a visit from two Disney princesses – Belle and Cinderella – capped off an afternoon of fun for young girls of all ages, many dressed in frilly dresses wearing custom decorated crowns.

The event was sponsored by Micah House who invited children up to the mansion for activities suitable for all ages. Inside, girls interacted with the two princesses and their peers, while boys spent time outside shooting waterguns and playing volleyball.

The event was advertised through speciality made invitations from Something Blue.

Ariana Fuentes, 5, of Redlands smiles during her visit at the “Princess Tea Party.” (John Valenzuela/Staff Photographer)

“It’s been a buzz all week. All I’ve been hearing is about the princess tea party. Being able to sit with them – because they look like real Disney princesses. It’s not common someone can have a tea with them,” said Diana Lawson, chapel program coordinator for Micah House. “They are very interactive with the kids and I had no doubt they’d get right into it.”

Tiffany Hasler of If The Shoe Fits Character Co. came dressed as Belle from “Beauty and the Beast.”

Complete with the princess’ signature gold dress and hairstyle, Hasler – in character – interacted with each girl, answering questions with a smile and a wave.

Each time the camera flashed, she curtseyed and clapped her hands in excitement.

Hasler was joined by her sister Audra Heflin who was dressed as Cinderella.

The two – and a few other girls on staff – attend birthday parties and other non-profit related events in character from Mary Poppins to Rapunzel.

“I’ve had this vision for a long time and just to do a lot of non-profit stuff, we just have a big heart for (them),” Hasler said. “It’s definitely our heart to do this.”

“Where’s the Beast?” or “Where’s your prince?” were among the questions both Hasler and Heflin answered to girls. They are used to it though, both said, as they try their best to stay in character and give answers that are suitable to who they are portraying.

“We try to make it as believable as possible,” Hasler said.

Cambria Madrid couldn’t wait until she had her one-on-one moment with Belle.

The 10-year-old admires the princess for her love of reading and her love of staying outdoors.

“Belle is my favorite princess, and I’ve only pretty much seen her in her movies and being able to see her in person today was really cool,” she said. “And when she comes to my table, I am going to show her the curtsey I practiced.”

Kristina Hernandez, Staff Writer, Redlands Daily Facts

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