Parks and rec invites community to come build gingerbread houses next week

Published 9:00 am Saturday, December 3, 2022

Holiday festivities will soon begin at Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation.

On Saturday, Dec. 10, it will present its 10th Annual Gingerbread House Party at the College Park Gymnasium from 1 to 3 p.m. 

Those planning to attend must pre-register at wccpr.recdesk.com by Dec. 7. Ticket costs are $8 per builder, and no day-of tickets will be available.

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“What we do is provide all the supplies and everything you need to build a gingerbread house,” said Tiffany Fletcher, the assistant program director at Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation. “You can take the gingerbread house home, and we clean up the mess.”

While this is the event’s tenth year, the last two years required some changes.

Specifically, kits got sent home in 2020, while the event required two separate sessions last year, since the number of gingerbread house builders in one area at a time was limited.

However, this year will provide a larger sense of pre-COVID normalcy.

“[There will be] tables all through the gym,” Fletcher added. “You find a spot that has a house, and you sit down and build. There’s not going to be a [limit] this year, which we’re very excited about.”

Building materials will be provided ahead of time.

Among them are baking trays, graham cracker cookies, candies, peppermints, red hots, gummy bears, and other additional treats.

Each builder will also get two icings – one white and one according to the color of their choice.

The latter is handmade and comes via a secret recipe.

“We mix it all up together and bag it up for them,” Fletcher said. “It’s a whole spread across the table, and then they just pick and choose what they want to use.”

Previously, there hasn’t been a short supply of creatively built gingerbread houses at events.

While some students use only one color when making their homes, others have incorporated double- or even triple-decker homes.

A gingerbread bus with wheels has been created, and trees have been made from pretzels.

One never knows what they will find from one year to the next.

While making gingerbread homes is the event’s highlight, it’s not the only noticeable aspect.

Santa and Mrs. Claus will visit as they prepare for the upcoming Christmas holiday.

In the past, many individuals have attended the Gingerbread House Party.

Thus, hopes and expectations are high for the coming year.

“We’ve had sixteen tables full of people and people waiting on a table to clear out so we can give them a kit to get started,” Fletcher said. “We anticipate the crowd to be pretty big this year….because the past couple of years have been so limited due to COVID, and this is such a fun, traditional Christmas event.”

Individual families aren’t always all that come for the affordable adventure. 

“Oftentimes, two families will come together,” Fletcher said. “The parents favorite thing about it is that it’s a lot cheaper than a store-bought kit.”

For staff, it also offers a chance to reunite with prior attendees.

“Sometimes that’s the only time we see them all year, so I love seeing these same families that come,” Fletcher said.