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  • Megann Horstead

Inaugural Princess Breakfast gives families royal treatment

Singing, dancing and photos with princesses were among the activities at the Mokena Community Park District’s inaugural Princess Breakfast.

A total of 60 people attended the event Saturday, July 15, at Yunker Farm in Mokena.

“We have a Cinderella Ball, but I wanted to do like another smaller-scale event that was for little girls again,” said Rebecca Phetteplace, recreation supervisor of special events for Mokena Community Park District. “I just thought something like this would be perfect to interact with princesses.”

The turnout for the inaugural event was nice to see, Phetteplace said.

“It ended up being a really good turnout for the first year,” she said.

There was no shortage of things to do, with the most anticipated being the meet and greet session with princesses held in the adjacent community band shell. Children scurried the grounds of Yunker Farm as they gathered to see Disney’s Ariel from “The Little Mermaid”, Belle from “The Beauty and the Beast,” and Rapunzel from “Tangled.” Additionally, children and their families sat for breakfast, enjoyed crafts and listened as picture books were read aloud by princesses.

“I think that you can definitely tell the girls are having so much fun,” Phetteplace said.

Trisha Dorr, of Mokena, said she enjoyed all of what Princess Breakfast offered.

“They did singing and they read a book,” she said. “It was more than just like seeing the princesses. It was like they made an event of it.”

Trisha’s 3-year-old daughter, Kennedy, donned a gown just like the one worn by her favorite princess, Belle, and said her favorite part was getting to meet her.

Trisha said Kennedy was excited to see the princesses so much she was mesmerized.

“Earlier, she said the princesses have to go back to their castles when we finish, right?” she recounted.

Trisha said she is glad she learned the park district would be hosting its Princess Breakfast.

“I’ve always been looking for something like this,” she said.

Bre Pluth, of New Lenox, was standing in line with her 6-year-old daughter, Hannah, for pictures with princesses.

“We had no clue they were going to be here,” Bre said. “It was a nice surprise.”

Hannah said she liked everything about Princess Breakfast.

Bre said it’s wonderful “just seeing her happy with her friend and dancing and getting all excited about the princesses and getting all dressed up.”

Bre added that she would return if the park district decided to host another Princess Breakfast.

“[It’s] just an excuse for [Hannah] to get dressed up,” she said. “She likes to do that at home, but it was nice to be able to do it amongst other little girls that dressed up, too.”

The decision of whether to host the event again next year is still to be determined, Phetteplace said.

“I was doing it based off feedback from this year,” she said. “During the week next week, I’ll send a survey [to] see people’s thoughts on it. As of right now, my thoughts on it just right now, I would definitely say it’s something we’re going to host again.”

“A lot of sign-ups were actually non-residents, so it’s about half-and-half,” Phetteplace said. “We had a few from Tinley Park, New Lenox, Lockport. So, we drew from quite a few different areas.”

The hope, Phetteplace said, is guests will see the way the park district is striving to be responsive to the community’s interests.

Phetteplace said it’s important for people “to see what kind of different events they can bring [to Yunker Farm,] and then letting people know that we’re listening and then wanting to give them the events that they’re interested in.”


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