Nutcracker performance and festive atmosphere as Paso Robles Main Street Association hosts holiday tradition

PASO ROBLES — Hosted by the Paso Robles Main Street Association, teddy bears and tea returned to the Park Ballroom for songs and a Nutcracker performance by the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation as the 33rd annual Teddy Bear Tea was held on Saturday, Dec. 16.

The event is the final chapter in the Paso Robles “Christmas Story” dreamed up by the association’s Executive Director Norma Moye over 30 years ago. Moye describes the event as one final gift to the children before Christmas comes to town.

For the first time in three years, the North County Dance and Performing Arts Foundation provided a personal performance of the 27th Annual North County Nutcracker. Also in attendance was the 2023 California Mid-State Fair Court.


Second Runner-up Princess Natalie Boyd said, “We love supporting our community and showing up to events and helping out. The Teddy Bear Tea is something the court has done for a long time. We are happy to be here, happy to see everyone in all their cute little clothes and all their little teddy bears. We are here to show our support, help out, help the kids have a good time, and take pictures with people. Show our support.”

The Nutcracker performance was a favorite of the day, according to Miss Congeniality Shirley Horzen of San Luis Obispo. 

“I think they did a good job. You can see that they have practiced it,” Horzen said. “Even if the music cuts out or it malfunctions, they held it together. They did a great job.”

Since their crowning, the court has been attending community events. The holidays have kept the team busy and they are handling it all exceptionally well.

“It’s a lot of work but it’s a lot of fun. I don’t think I ever get tired of doing it,” said First Runner-Up Jenna Wilshusen of Paso Robles.

Wilshusen grew up coming to the Teddy Bear Tea with her family.

“It’s definitely an eye opener to see how much work went into it because, as a kid, we just showed up in a pretty dress,” she explains. “To be here to help set up and see how much went into it was cool, and I feel a little sentimental now that a few years later, I get to be on the other side. I’m having a lot of fun with my friends today.”

It was the first time at the tea for Miss California Mid-State Fair Kerrigan Jensen of Santa Margarita.

“This is my first time coming. My favorite part is seeing all the excited boys and girls having a great time,” said Jensen.

Built over 100 years ago, the Park Ballroom allows its guests to step back in time. Tables were set up throughout the room, with Moye on the stage, choreographing the day. Hot tea and cookies were served for each of the guests. It takes much time and dedication from volunteers to make the event happen.

Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus the Snow King and Queen, were available at the tea for photo opportunities, followed by a live recital of “Ten Little Angels” on guitar by Nick Breton. 

For more information on the Paso Robles Main Street Association’s events, visit