By MARGIE NETZEL - firstname.lastname@example.org
Use your napkin, sip your punch, and above all — don’t mess with the princesses.
All princesses of Ashtabula County are cordially invited to attend the royal Princess Ball, a fundraiser for Ashtabula’s biggest community day.
Ashtabula County Children Services will decorate in pink and serve a whole lot of cake Saturday for the Princess Ball, a fundraiser for the Longest Day of Play and Family A-Fair.
“The Princess Ball is the main fundraiser for the Longest Day of Play,” Ashtabula County Children Services community service coordinator Kathryn Whittington said. “We stole the idea from Lorain County and it is very successful. We took their idea and tweaked it and twisted it and come up with our own version of a perfect day for princesses.”
The Princess Ball will be held at the Ashtabula County Fairgrounds Expo Building on North Elm Street in Jefferson in two sessions — from noon to 2 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets are $10 per person — children and adults.
“Tickets are for anyone who attends, so parents must have tickets, too,” Whittington said.
Whittington said funding the Longest Day of Play, which is a free day of family fun open to all residents of Ashtabula County, has become difficult in a tough economy.
“It costs more than $5,000 to put on the Longest Day of Play, and we keep that event totally free to the community,” she said. “This year the day will be June 22, and we know we can’t start thinking about it and planning it soon enough.”
Last year more than 2,000 people attended the Longest Day of Play.
The Princess Ball has become the principle fundraiser for the big community day, Whittington said.
“This is a good portion of our goal,” she said. “We have applied for grants for the Longest Day, but they are very competitive. With the community economic situation, local contributions are under $1,000, which just isn’t enough. The princesses save the day.”
Whittington said everyone is invited to the ball, though little boys seem to find princehood a lot less interesting than princesses do.
“Boys can come, but they might be bored. This is a day of all pink and purple. Everything is geared towards princesses. There is nothing for the princes. We would never turn a little boy away, but this is targeted as a mother-daughter or father-daughter event.”
There are 600 tickets available for the two sessions, and Whittington said more than 400 princesses partied last year.
Each child gets an autograph book to take to “princess stations,” where they can decorate the pages and get princess autographs. Cake, punch and pizza will be served, and a dee-jay will provide music for dancing.
There is no dress code for this event, Whittington said.
“Some children come in jeans, some in party dresses, some in princess costumes,” she said.
Tickets can be purchased at www.accsb.org/princessball.html. For group sales of more than 20, call Whittington at 998-1811.
Tickets will be available at the door, though pre-purchased tickets are preferred, Whittington said.
“We will not turn anyone away at the door,” she said.