The Queen Bee Tea was a Honey of a Time
By Jo Moreland
Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce
For The Alpine Sun
The first Queen Bee Tea was a honey of a show on March 5 in Alpine!
Almost 100 guests attended the Honey Festival kick-off event, turning the Alpine Community Center at 1830 Alpine Blvd. into a hive of chatter, fanciful bee bonnets, beautiful fashions, opportunity drawings, interesting vendors and fun.
The Alpine Mountain Empire Chamber of Commerce presented the tea with help from the community, including Chamber members, non-members, sponsors and organizations.
“We’re going to do this again next year,” said Chamber President/CEO Mary Rynearson said later. “A heartfelt thank you to the community of Alpine and the generosity of everyone who helped make our premiere Queen Bee Tea a success!”
The tea was a sneak peek at the Honey Festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, March 11. The community is celebrating its legacy of having once been the “honey capital of the world.”
The Honey Festival will have six sites with the opening ceremony at 11 a.m. at the Alpine Community Center. Free parking and shuttle service for all six Honey Festival sites will be at Joan MacQueen Middle School, 2001 Tavern Road.
“I am so impressed that Alpine comes out with style,” Chamber Chairman and Alpine Co-Honorary Mayor Joseph Perricone of The Canvas Makers said as he welcomed everyone at the Queen Bee Tea.
The sponsors for this year’s tea were Dana’s Boutique, Postal Annex of Alpine, Alpine Regional Center, The Alpine Sun, The East County Herald, Barons Market, Glory Bee, Jeff Campbell & Associates, All Service Property Management, Hilliker’s Ranch Fresh Eggs, The Canvas Makers and Drive By Mobile Signs.
Donna Maria’s Tea Time, Cobblestone Cottage Tea Shoppe, Thirty-one, Alpine Ace Hardware, Back in Time Vintage Emporium and Kathy Foster Photography also were sponsors.
Surrounded by laughter and the music of DJ Tony Gilbert at the event, Karen Farrington and her daughter-in-law, Norma Farrington, were enjoying tea. Plates at the table held the remains of scones, three kinds of sandwiches, strawberries, brownies and lemon bars.
“It’s very interesting,” Norma Farrington said. “Everybody is so into it, wearing the hats and everything.”
The popular free photo booth and shopping at vendor tables were part of the fun.
A big hit was the fashion show by Dana’s Boutique, located at 2271 Alpine Blvd., with its wonderful “made in the USA” casual or dressy clothing to fit all figures. .
Owner Dana Paskle’s new “Mommy & Me” and “Grandma & Me” collections were crowd-pleasers. So were the vivacious models on the runway.
“They’re all local ladies,” Paskle told everyone. “They either own a business or work at a business. We want to remind you to shop local!”
Beckie Woods won the Best Decorated Table Contest. The Postal Annex/Kiwanis Club table was second and the Alpine Woman’s Club, third.
Naomi Tweed, granddaughter of Soroptimist of Alpine President Patricia Tweed, wore the winning chapeau in the Best Bee Bonnet Contest. She is now Ms. Queen Bee. Beckie Woods was second and President Pene Manale of the Kiwanis Club of Alpine, third.
A rousing country pop song ---- “Suds in the Bucket” ---- by local entertainer and model Rhyann Ashley had the crowd clapping to the tune.
Members of the Granite Hills High School Key Club, associated with the Kiwanis Club of Alpine, helped at the Chamber event. The young people earned a Chamber honorarium for serving the tea and refreshments, escorting models on and off the runway, and other assistance.
Local pageant royalty sold opportunity drawing tickets, posed for photos with people and explained how important pageants are to help girls get scholarships and become more confident as they assist at community events.
Happy holders of winning drawing tickets went home with theme baskets filled with everything from lotions to gardening equipment.
Selected vendors sold a variety of items and services. Selling lovely jewelry, shaped stones and handmade custom items was Exaiver Kotva of Lilly’s Gifts in La Mesa.
“It’s a family business,” said Kotva. “They travel around the world to find materials.”
To learn more about the Honey Festival and other Chamber activities and events to support Alpine and the Mountain Empire, call (619) 445-2722 or visit www.alpinechamber.com.