Maryellen Hayes, owner of Camellia Tea Room, has been producing annual Teddy Bear Tea Parties for 21 years. These formal affairs include a special traditional afternoon tea, costumed elves and holiday characters, story telling by Mr. Hayes himself, Christmas carols and a special visitor from the North Pole. Proceeds from the six seatings benefit Benicia Main Street, which the Hayes’ have been involved with since its inception. “It’s a family affair,” says Maryellen, recalling her own grandkids’ participation over the years as elves and special helpers. Kids bring their favorite teddy or stuffed animal to enjoy the fancy tea and festivities. This year’s Teddy Bear Tea takes place December 3 & 4 at Camellia Tea Room and advance registration is required. Maryellen notes that the three seatings each day always sell out in advance, but that there will be a Spring Tea in several months, which was just added a few years ago and is quite popular. Camellia Tea Room also sponsors the Bewitching Tea annually in October in coordination with Soroptomist of Benicia, benefitting local agencies serving victims of domestic violence. The Bewitching Tea just finished it’s 11th annual run. The tearoom is open through the holidays for traditional afternoon tea with friends and loved ones. For more information, visit or call 707.746.5293