NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Princesses from across East Texas are invited to don their best dress and sip tea with old and new friends during the SFA Garden's annual Little Princess Tea Party slated for Saturday, April 9, in the Stephen F. Austin State University Ruby M. Mize Azalea Garden.

"The tea party introduces people to nature and gardening in a new and enjoyable way. People who might not normally spend time outdoors love coming to the Little Princess Tea Party," said Elyce Rodewald, tea party organizer and SFA Gardens educational programs coordinator. "Many people and organizations work together to bring this special day to the community, including SFA Gardens staff members and student workers, Nacogdoches Junior Forum volunteers, Alpha Psi Omega and others.

"This year, the Little Princess Tea Party is sponsored by Boyette Consulting. Dr. Cheryl Boyette created the original party over 10 years ago and has been involved in this magical event ever since."

One hundred tickets are available and will be split between two tea party sessions. The first session will be at 10 a.m. and the second at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $25 per person.

"The tickets sell out very quickly each year," Rodewald said. "It seems that everyone enjoys dressing up, especially the young princesses. Some spend hours, days or even weeks planning what to wear."

The tea party isn't solely about playing dress up, although that is a definite perk for partygoers. The event allows young participants to practice budding social skills, increases time with family in a fun environment and offers the chance to soak in the beauty of the natural world.

"Princesses are intelligent, kind, brave, generous, loyal, magical, polite and strong," Rodewald said. "Children who spend time playing and using their imagination are building important skills for adult life. The tea party also is a wonderful opportunity for children to spend special time with mom, grandmother or an aunt."

Princess or fairy apparel is encouraged at the Little Princess Tea Party. Participants will be treated to tea party snacks, music, a garden visit and stories. Tickets can be purchased online at

For information, call (936) 468-1832 or email