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ArtCenter Manatee Holiday Tea is a classy affair

ArtCenter Manatee board president Joanne Ehrenreich and her cadre of volunteers know how to put on a proper English tea.

With the help of aproned Mam’selle members, they served the traditional scones, small sandwiches and cookies to a group of women Sunday afternoon in the center’s main gallery. Of course, china pots of tea accompanied the dainty food.

The guests wore the customary hats and gloves — with a twist. Most of the toppers had the creative look to be expected at the ArtCenter.

For instance, Joanne Warber’s stovepipe hat looked like a chimney, complete with the legs of the Santa who fell down it.

Andrea Calvert added some technology to her “Sugarplum Fairy” creation with color-changing fiber optics among the glittery flowers.

And Fran LeBoeuf was the milliner for the berry-bedecked grapevine wreaths that she and Nancy Way wore.

Bradenton City Councilwoman Marianne Barnebey was the honorary chair of the event. She and her niece, Emily Ellrick, trimmed their own straw hats with roses and baby’s breath.

The guests who stopped for tea included Dianne Barnard wearing an elegant vintage hat; Mary Clayton sporting a giant red gift bow and Karen Johnson in her leopard-trimmed Santa cap.

Susan Wilcox, a Florida native, has lived in Bradenton for more than 20 years. She has been active in many local organizations as a volunteer or an employee.