The 13th annual Gingerbread House Extravaganza is getting some much deserved press outside of Jacksonville. Southern Living magazine ran story in its December issue that named the Extravaganza among the “South’s best holiday experiences.” The Gingerbread Extravaganza was one of only four events selected.
The brief, but highly visible article mentioned that amateur and professional creations were shown side by side. They also gave a nod to the numerous historic structures created from gingerbread and confection. Also mentioned was that the “setting is just as stunning as the candy,” paying tribute to the Extravaganza site, the society’s 1887 St. Andrew’s.
Important for the society is the fact that the Extravaganza embraces our mission—city history. Many of the gingerbread entries, as pointed out by Southern Living, feature local historic buildings or sites. Among the 50 gingerbread houses this year are City Hall (as Cohen Brothers), Fire Station Number One, the Morocco Temple, San Marco Square, Jessie Ball duPont Center (Haydon Burns Library), and many other local structures. Of course, the event is located in our National Register Old St. Andrew’s and tours are offered at the Merrill House next door.
During the morning, school field-trips are scheduled before opening to the public. Both the students and the public are provided a rhyming scavenger hunt among the gingerbread houses which broadens appreciation for the work of the professional and amateur artists who dedicate so much time to this event. Most of the bigger gingerbread houses or exhibits require more than one hundred hours to build—some houses much more time.
There is still an opportunity to see this premier event in the South. It runs through December 23.