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story.lead_photo.caption FILE PHOTO: From left, Logan Slippin, 4, Clair Brown, 3, and Kalla Brown, 5, meet Rapunzel on Nov. 23, 2019, as she signs their signature books during A Princess Party at First United Methodist Church. Photo by Sally Ince / News Tribune.

Time to fluff out the baby blue skirts of your child's favorite Elsa or Cinderella dress. The fourth annual Princess Party is just around the corner.

And it's been a long time coming for some ticket holders — Christmas 2019, to be exact.

"We sold tickets back in December for it. I know there were several that purchased in December for Christmas," organizer Emily Koenigsfeld said. "They've been waiting all this time to come."

And so, with that thought, and a desire to offer a unique getaway from "among all the craziness," organizers are asking the young royalty to come dressed in their princess best.

The annual Princess Party fundraiser, rescheduled from its original March 22 date, will be 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Sunday at the Wardsville Lions Club, 3505 Route M. Funds raised through ticket sales go to benefit the Angels of Hope Relay for Life team, an American Cancer Society fundraiser.

The event will be split into two parties. The first, an "exclusive princess party," will be 10 a.m.-noon. Priced at $50 including one adult, those signed up for the exclusive event will receive a bracelet and the chance to paint a canvas with the help of an instructor, in addition to other activities shared by the second group.

As of Wednesday afternoon, roughly 35 children were signed up for the exclusive party. The limit, Koenigsfeld said, is 40.

The second party starts at 1 p.m. and runs until 3 p.m. Both parties will have pampering stations, coloring, games, crafts and cookie decorating among other activities led by staff members. A glittering star wand will peek out of each princess goodie bag.

There was ample space for the second party as of Wednesday afternoon. Attendance numbers are slightly down this year, Koenigsfeld said.

"We've had some people cancel, but we've had a lot of people excited that we're actually doing it, and of course we're going to do everything we can to keep people safe," she said.

Last year, more than 100 young girls ages 2-15 registered to make crafts, eat, dance, and have their hair styled and makeup applied. The event raised roughly $2,200 for the Relay for Life team. This year, organizers are looking at around $1,800. The move from McClung Park in 2019 has increased rental costs, too.

"This is definitely our biggest and only really outside fundraiser that we do," Koenigsfeld said. "We used to do other things, but this has kind of taken over since it's been so successful. Our team has been really on board with just doing this."

Not having the event this year would have been "detrimental" to the team's funds, she said.

And though the money helps, Koenigsfeld said they do it for the children, too. Having the event will hopefully provide an atmosphere to get away from the negative, to enjoy the giggles of princesses meeting Jasmine or Belle for what might be their first time. And for those children who've been holding on to tickets since Christmas, seven months is more than enough time to build up the excitement.

"The smiles and everything that we see the day of our princess party? It's just priceless," she said.

Koenigsfeld said she was originally nervous about rescheduling and not knowing how people would respond. But most of the cancellations, she said, have been due to incompatible dates, not worries about the coronavirus. Regardless, she said she and her team are taking necessary precautions to create a safe environment.

The new location will allow for increased social distancing. Groups will be at their own tables and any shared surfaces will be wiped down by staff members. Cookies will be pre-bagged, hand sanitizer will be available, and hair dressers and the team will all be wearing masks, Koenigsfeld said.

Though there is ample space for more people — Koenigsfeld had originally prepared for a "full party" — and walk-ins on the day of the event are welcome, she encouraged anyone wanting to attend to sign up through the Facebook event page.

For more information, contact organizers at [email protected]

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