Luttrell Barn hosts first winter tea since renovation | CraigDailyPress.com

Luttrell Barn hosts first winter tea since renovation

Eleanor C. Hasenbeck

CRAIG — Tea for 84? A recent winter tea party at the Luttrell Barn Cultural Center featured hor d'oeuvres, old-fashioned costumes and most importantly, about 160 cups of hot black tea, enough to serve 84 people.

The event was a fundraiser to continue renovations to the recently saved Luttrell Barn. This year was the first time the annual tea party was held in the barn. Last year's tea was at the Clarion Inn.

Funds raised by ticket sales to the tea will begin to pay for repairs to the barn, including weatherizing windows and a closet, installing heat in the loft and putting in a lift to allow people with disabilities to access the second floor.

Katie's Costumes provided props for photos and several Victorian era costumes for servers and partygoers to wear. The women of the Luttrell Barn Cultural Center Foundation board floated around the room in long skirts, pouring tea and making sure no one was in need of more pinwheels, tea cookies or cucumber canapés.

Maria Landa brought her twin daughters to the party to celebrate a "girls day out." More importantly, she said she wanted to support restoring the barn, because she has a lot of memories in the old building. She plans to host a party for her 25th  wedding anniversary in the barn, and her children have celebrated birthdays, baptisms and graduations at the Luttrell Barn.

Bill Rippy and his wife, Anna, attended tea parties and weddings at the barn when the it was first from its original location to its current location, near the Moffat County Fairgrounds. Rippy said he used to know the "old man Luttrell." He had a suggestion for the event.

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"When I was stationed in England, we had tea parties, and in the afternoon, it was tea and rum. They’re not giving me rum here! They’ve got a lot of catching up to do in throwing a tea party," Rippy quipped.

Craig Mayor John Ponikvar said the event's success proves the barn's worth to the community.

"It's just great that we had the people who had the vision to take this barn and renovate it to be able to host events like this," Ponikvar said

"We thank the public for supporting us," said John Allen, president of the Luttrell Barn Cultural Center Foundation. "The public has been very helpful, and any more support would be really appreciated."