Devoted fans hold 'Abbey' dear
KASSON — The red carpet was exchanged for snow, but Thursday's blizzard didn't keep "Downton Abbey" aficionados from attending a party at the library celebrating the beginning of Season 5 of the popular public television series.
The library was decked out with teapots, cups and a buffet fit for either upstairs or downstairs fans.
Included in the offerings were a layered cream trifle, a treacle tart, egg salad sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches, cheddar scones, onion tarts, and carrot cake. An English rose tea was served to quench the thirst of the delighted guests.
Pat Shaffer-Gottschalk, Kelly Bell, and Melanie Bersano planned the party and the three prepared the treats after researching the types of food that would have been served during the time the series is reenacting, 1912-1924 at Highclere Castle in Hampshire, England.
Shaffer-Gottschalk explained that, "While the real Highclere Castle is in Hampshire, 'Downton Abbey' is supposed to be in Yorkshire."
The library also had books from the era displayed and background music playing that might have been heard in drawing rooms of the time.
Many people came in costume and participated in a guessing game that might have been played in Edwardian castles.
Hardcore trivia questions were fielded with ease by the group, and those who attended were asked to vote for their favorite character in the series. Violet Crawley, Dowager Countess of Grantham, won that contest hands-down.
Somewhat surprisingly, the fans thought Lady Mary should not remarry in this season. Opinions were mixed on whether Tom should continue to see the schoolteacher. And would Edith finally have something good happen to her?
From teenagers to senior citizens, "Downton Abbey" fans who attended had definite likes and dislikes of the characters portrayed in the series.
Next year, when Season 6 is aired, the new library is expected to be finished, and the group thought that having the party again in the new venue was an excellent idea.
As James might say, "Although the weather was parky, the do was smashing. Cheerio!"