Fairfield Ledger
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Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 21, 2014

Under construction: Gingerbread houses to be sold as fundraiser

By VICKI TILLIS, Ledger lifestyles editor | Nov 07, 2013
Courtesy of: SUZAN BATES KESSEL Fairfield Art Association adult members and volunteers will be assembling and decorating 30 gingerbread houses, like this one from a past year, for the Gingerbread Extravaganza-themed Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk Dec. 6. The gingerbread houses are sold to area businesses by the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser. The chamber sponsors the December art walk.

The Fairfield Art Association members and volunteers will be assembling and decorating 30 gingerbread houses beginning Sunday afternoon in the association’s studio at the Fairfield Arts & Convention Center.

Susan Bates Kessel, the Fairfield Art Association volunteer director, explained the decorated gingerbread houses are sold to area businesses by the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce as a fundraiser for the chamber, the art association and Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk. The chamber has sponsored the December Gingerbread Extravaganza-themed art walk for several years.

Because the houses are sold as a fundraiser, only adults will be decorating them.

“We have had some beautiful houses in the past years, with adults sometimes spending up to three hours on one house and embellishing with sleighs, Christmas trees and yards,” said Kessel.

Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store has been in charge of baking the pieces for half of the houses, and Fairfield High School foods class students have taken on the responsibility to bake the other half.

Patterns are being used this year instead of a mold, so assembling will take at least a day and involves foil-covered bases, icing or “cementing” the pieces to form the houses and tying string around the walls to hold it all together, explained Kessel.

Assembling the gingerbread house pieces is set from 1-5 p.m. Sunday and 1-4 p.m. Monday, with decorating getting underway Monday after assembly is complete.

The studio will be set up for decorating for several days so creative adults can come any time that works into their schedule — an hour here or there, once or often.

“We will work as many days and times as it takes to get them done,” said Kessel.

The decorating schedule is: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday; 1-5 p.m. Wednesday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 14; and, if work is still needed, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Nov. 15.

“Participants can bring frosting guns of various sizes for decorating,” said Kessel. “A large variety of candy is purchased for the project, all hard candy, no chocolate as that would melt. Some cereals will be on hand, like shredded wheat, which are great for roofs, while wafer cookies make good shutters, and pretzels become logs. Lots of tiny pieces add the details, and coloring the icing can individualize the houses, too.”

Anyone with questions abut the gingerbread house decorating can contact Kessel by emailing suzan1252@aol.com.

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