On May 15, Alberta Avenue Community League hosted its first Strawberry Tea, which will hopefully become an annual event. 

The event was a fundraiser for the league, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. 

Guests were treated to an elegant high tea, complete with checkered tablecloths and patterned teapots. On the menu were cucumber sandwiches, cakes heaped with strawberries and whipped cream, and of course, plenty of tea. 

Gordon Ritchie played the harp, providing gorgeous background music while neighbours ate and visited. MLA Janis Irwin also stopped by to say hello. 

And, in an unusual turn of events, Edmonton decided to offer up beautiful spring weather for the outdoor event, without a cloud in the sky.

“We could not have asked for a more beautiful day,” says Ali Hammington, the league president who helped organize the event. “The music is amazing and the company is even better. I’m having a wonderful time. This is spring like I’ve been waiting for, for a very long time.”

Jennifer Laughton attended the event and was excited to be out in the community again after recovering from COVID-19. 

“I moved [to Parkdale-Cromdale] in 2019 just before COVID and joined my community league,” says Laughton. “I’m just looking for ways to contribute to the communities around [me]. I like to get involved in things. So, I saw this [event] and I’m like, ‘I like strawberries, I like tea… why not?’”

Maya Pileggi attended the event representing Norwood Dental Centre, which provided a raffle for the event. She adds, “It’s so cute. What a great idea to bring people together for something that isn’t what you would typically think of.”

“It’s awesome!” says Barbara Oseemeemow of the event. She attended the event for her friend Hammington, who she knows through the Neighborhood Bridges organization. The organization helps advocate for people who have disabilities.  

Hammington and Oseemeemow went hat shopping together and bought their afternoon tea hats at the same store. 

“I’m really glad to see everybody who came,” says Margaret Larson, who volunteered at the event and has lived in the neighbourhood for a long time. 

“Very nice, peaceful, good food, good company,” adds Jocelyne Forget about the event. 

Leslie, Amberley, and Ava, who asked that their last names not be included, attended together to support the league on its 100th anniversary and enjoy each other’s company. “I didn’t expect all this,” says Leslie with a laugh. “I thought it was just going to be just tea, just some biscuits, but this is wonderful.”

Leslie grew up in the area, and moved back to Alberta Avenue in 2019, just before the pandemic hit. She didn’t get to experience many community events before then. “It’s nice that things are starting to happen again,” she says.