The Grove City High School Drama Department gave youngsters the royal treatment March 21 as it held its second Prince and Princess Tea event.

The Grove City High School Drama Department gave youngsters the royal treatment March 21 as it held its second Prince and Princess Tea event.

The event served as a fundraiser for the drama department, said Stefanie McConnell, a GCHS drama and English teacher.

Last year's initial tea proved so popular, two sessions were scheduled for this year's event, she said.

"It's a really magical setting," McConnell said. "The really young kids -- the 2-, 3- and 4-year-olds -- they are so wide-eyed. They really believe they are meeting princesses."

GCHS drama students portray famous princesses from movies and stories, she said.

The youngsters who attended the tea were served punch and cookies and got to decorate and color their own crowns.

They could also purchase tiaras and wands.

The highlight of the day was the arrival of the princesses, each of whom was announced by a town crier as she descended a staircase.

"It is so much fun, because the young ones gasp when each princess arrives," McConnell said. "They are so excited."

Guests later could have their pictures taken with their favorite princesses.

Grove City High School secretaries Vicki Evans (now retired) and Carolyn Hunter suggested the idea of hosting a tea.

"I had previously worked at Central Crossing High School and the drama department there had put on a very small tea one year," Hunter said. "I always thought it could be such a wonderful event if it was done on a larger scale."

When the idea was first brought to McConnell's attention several years ago, "She gave me a look and said, 'Oh, Carolyn,' " Hunter said.

"I couldn't imagine how we could put on something like that," McConnell said.

It was several years before Hunter and Evans convinced her to give it a go, she said.

"They and the other volunteers deserve the credit for the success of this event," McConnell said.

GCHS senior Sarah Hipple portrayed Princess Esmerelda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame.

"It's nice to see how much the kids enjoy it," she said. "But I'm not sure who enjoys it more -- us or them.

"Every little girl wants to grow up to be a princess," Hipple said.

For the young women portraying the princesses, the event offered a chance to relive those childhood fantasies and dreams, she said.

"The best part was interacting with the kids," Hipple said. "You really are a princess to them."