by Lisa Tome
Festive hats, scrumptious food, and a few cups of tea were the focus of an end of summer event held last week at the Rising Sun Branch Library.
"We had a Downton Abbey Tea in April and it was very popular," said library staffer Priscilla Garvin. So with help from fellow librarians, she organized an American Classic Tea. Guests were asked to wear hats for the Most Creative Headwear contest and bring their appetite.
Anyone with a thirst for knowledge also was quenched. A DVD featuring the inner-workings of the Charleston Tea Plantation known as "America's Tea Farm" was shown.
Allison Powell of Elkton, won the hat contest. She wore a flower draped hat that a dear friend created for her a half dozen years ago. She was excited to be there. "I love hats. I love tea. I go to every tea there is anyplace," said Powell.
Susan Broskey of North East was also enthused. "This is my third tea with Rising Sun Library. I love it. I get to try teas and mingle with the people of Cecil County," said Broskey.
Most of the food was prepared by Garvin who used items from her own garden to create the feast. She made three types of scones - banana/butterscotch, blueberry, and pumpkin with caramel sauce, both dilled cucumber and egg salad tea sandwiches, cherry tomatoes stuffed with herb cheese, and dilly beans. Dessert consisted of fresh peach tarts and zucchini spice cakes.
Donna Hayes contributed an anise pound cake. The kitchen savvy from both women won raves from those who attended the tea.
Joann Jamison of Rising Sun also attended the Downtown Abbey tea. "It was lovely. I met a lot of people. It's a good place to make friends," said Jamison.
Paul Chernock was the only male at the tea. He said he was inspired to attend because of the Ricky Nelson song "Garden Party". He wore a hat that rimmed his head rather than covered it. "I bought this hat years ago for Preakness," said Chernock.
Leocea McLanahan of Conowingo brought her 15-year-old daughter to the tea. "I wanted to bring my oldest daughter. This is educational and fun," said McLanahan, who homeschools her six children.
The night before the tea, Dottie Bickel of Colora, finished creating two hats - one for herself and one for Rachel Broomell. "I've always been into hats," said Bickel.
Johanna Jones of Rising Sun also made her hat. She used a child's toy, a suspension bridge, to create a hat to honor her favorite book "A Tree Grows in Brooklyn".