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Entries sought for annual Gingerbread Extravaganza

Nov 15, 2012
PHOTO SUBMITTED Entries for the annual Holiday Gingerbread Extravaganza will be accepted from Nov. 26 through noon Dec. 6 at Fairfield Nutrition on the east side of the Fairfield square.

Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk, Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce and Fairfield Hy-Vee Food and Drug Store are calling for entries in the annual Holiday Gingerbread Extravaganza, with creations being accepted from Nov. 26 through noon Dec. 6 at Fairfield Nutrition on the east side of the square.

The Holiday Gingerbread Extravaganza boasts one of the largest displays of gingerbread in southeast Iowa, said Dania De Bortoli, executive director of Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk.

The extravaganza began in 2004 as a contest for school children and artists. After all the feedback received on that first display, event co-chairwoman Holly Moore said it was only logical to expand it in 2005 and promote it as a tourist attraction and ecomomy booster. Moore’s goal in 2005 was for people to think of Fairfield and gingerbread the way they thought of Wayland and lights.

Her goal seems to have been met as the Holiday Gingerbread Extravaganza has grown into an event with dozens of gingerbread creations featured in shop windows on and near the Fairfield square.

Anyone can enter a gingerbread house in one of the five categories: young children ages 5-11; teens ages 12-18; individual adults older than 18; organizations or groups, such as businesses, schools or social groups; and Outside of the House, which are gingerbread creations that are not houses.

De Bortoli said detailed information on contest rules, how to enter the contest, and even tips on how to make the best icing, can be found on the art walk’s website at www.fairfieldartwalk.org. The site also includes a downloadable entry form, a basic recipe for a light golden-brown gingerbread with a mild ginger flavor and a how to make a gingerbread house video.

Entry forms also can be picked up at the chamber of commerce office or Fairfield Nutrition.

The gingerbread creations will be displayed in shop windows around the Fairfield square beginning in November, and the extravaganza will culminate with the Dec. 7 1st Fridays Art Walk when custom-designed ribbons will be awarded in the five categories by a panel of judges.

De Bortoli said in addition to the gingerbread extravaganza award presentation, the Dec. 7 art walk, which runs from 6-9 p.m., also will include a children’s gingerbread workshop, horse-drawn holiday carriage rides, photos with Santa Claus, holiday story telling for children, holiday music on the square, traditional holiday treats and more.

The Gingerbread Extravaganza also includes a fundraising opportunity, added Nancy Morrissey, executive director of the Fairfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

Sponsors are being sought for “30 of the best gingerbread houses,” said Morrissey, but added only about half of the houses have not been spoken for.

A sponsorship is $110, with the funds helping to cover various advertising expenses for the December art walk. “Gingerbread houses are one of everyone’s favorite holiday traditions,” said Morrissey. “We’ll create one you’re sure to love. … Think gum drops, gum balls, licorice, marshmallows, Pez, Smarties, gum, lollipops, candy canes, jelly beans, wafer cookies, pretzels and Necco Wafers on gingerbread house roofs and walls.”

Those who have already signed up to sponsor a gingerbread house are: Bob’s Automotive, Creative Edge Master Shop, Danaher Oil, Pat and Deb Doyle, Tom and Clarisa McMahon, Chuck and Jan Espy, Edward Jones Trading, First National Bank in Fairfield, Foss Kuiken & Cochran PC, Hawthorne Direct, Libertyville Savings Bank, MidWestOne Bank, Morrissey Law Offices, Revelations Café & Bookstore.

To sponsor a gingerbread house, contact Morrissey at 472-2111 or nmorrissey@fairfieldiowa.com.

For more information about the Fairfield 1st Fridays Art Walk, contact De Bortoli at 233-8883, fairfieldartwalk@gmail.com or visit the website www.fairfieldartwalk.org.

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