Follow the Cheshire Cat to the Mad Hatter’s Raspberry Tea Party at Driediger Farms on Sunday, July 14, from noon to 3 p.m.

Driediger takes Mad Hatter to tea for Langley hospice

Mad Hatter’s Raspberry Tea Party replete with granny’s tea set

By Bob Groeneveld/Special to the Langley Advance Times

Set your stopped watch for a very important date. The Mad Hatter is throwing a tea party with raspberries and ice cream at Driediger Farms on Sunday.

“We’re excited about it,” said Shannon Todd Booth of the Langley Hospice Society, which will receive the proceeds of the Mad Hatter’s Raspberry Tea Party. “Rhonda Driediger and I crossed paths a few times over the year, and she approached us saying that Driediger Farms would like to do a fundraiser in support of the Hospice Society, and so we came up with the raspberry tea, Mad Hatter style.”

“It’s going to be fun,” Todd Booth enthused, “a raspberry tea on your grandmother’s fine china.”

She said that when the Hospice Society put out the call for china for a previous Mad Hatter event, the community responded generously.

“We heard from lots of folks that they had this china and weren’t using it,” she said. “People don’t use china the way they used to, and they were looking for a good home for it.”

It’s a Driediger Farms event, and the Hospice Society is providing volunteer support.

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The tea cups – and some costumes and hats – weren’t the only things provided by the community.

“Otter Co-op is donating two slab cakes, one chocolate and one vanilla,” said Amanda Nadeau, Driediger’s retail development manager, adding that DavidsTea “offered to put together all of our hot and cold brew for the event, as well.”

Ice cream is being provided by Transcold, she said, and “Checkers Fudge are donating chocolate covered pretzel sticks as a gift for all of our guests.”

Even the napkins, created in a Mad Hatter theme, looking like hearts and spades and clubs, are coming from Old Country Design Napkins.

And the raspberries, of course, will be provided by Driediger Farms.

Their raspberries mostly missed the winter damage that hit some farms further east in the valley, said Driediger.

“Ours are just a little bit later,” she said, “so they’re just coming on now, and it looks like a really good crop – beautiful quality.”

In addition to DavidsTea, she promised plenty of raspberry juice “from our own fresh raspberries.”

The 150 to 200 guests expected at the tea can expect to encounter balloon animals, artisan vendors, environmental and heritage information booths, and a professional facepainter who will decorate “faces of any age,” Nadeau added.

Dressing specially for the occasion is not mandatory, “but they absolutely can,” said Nadeau. “We’ve had some guests ask through our online booking if they are allowed to dress up, and they absolutely are. It’s not mandatory, but I’m sure that people will come and enjoy. We have hats and stuff like that.”

Todd Booth has little doubt that people will have fun with the theme.

“It’s Langley, so I think we’ll see everything from tea party dress and hats to jeans and the like,” she said, “but it’s definitely that kind of fancy tea environment.”

The Mad Hatter’s Raspberry Tea Party takes place at Driediger Farms, 23823 72nd Ave., from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, July 14.

Tickets are $25 per person and $10 for children 10 years and under, online here until Friday at 4 p.m.

For more information on hospice visit their website.

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