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By Karen Hendricks

It’s just like the classic line, “Catch me if you can,” from the children’s story The Gingerbread Man…

As the holiday season draws nearer, there are a number of opportunities to still enjoy the incredible gingerbread houses created for the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration.  A number of houses have found “prime real estate” within Gettysburg’s public places, so be sure to stop by and enjoy these fabulous creations during your holiday travels.

Your first stop might be Gettysburg’s Majestic Theater, where the largest 2011 gingerbread entry has taken up residence.  Built by Team Robinson of Hanover, this massive three-foot-high structure is on display in the main lobby, also able to be viewed through the theater’s front windows on Carlisle Street.  Two of the creators, Tony and Jennifer Robinson, explained they were inspired to create a New York City-style gingerbread entry.  So if you look closely, you will see a New York City brownstone (a perfect match for gingerbread dough), a city cathedral, Rockefeller Center, and even a rotating Christmas tree in the center to represent the big apple’s famous tree at Rockefeller Center.

This amazing gingerbread creation is only on display for a few more days, as this gingerbread gift changes hands once more.  The Majestic Theater will be drawing a name from a hat this Saturday, December 17 during the free holiday movie “The Polar Express” and one lucky movie patron will be the proud new owner.

Not only did this house win 2nd prize as determined by the Festival’s independent panel of judges, but it also won the popular vote of “People’s Choice” during the entire December 1-3 Gingerbread House Celebration.  While on display, it garnered a number of generous, silent bids from attendees.  When the dust cleared, the high bidder was Festival Trustee Edie Jardine of Fairfield.  Thanks to her generous nature, she then donated the house to the Majestic Theater so that the public could enjoy it a while longer.  Bravo!

Another award-winning house from 2011 can be found on Lincoln Square.  The 3rd place entry, created by Gettysburg Radiology Oncology staff, is on display at The Historic Gettysburg Hotel.  Modeled after a French chateau, don’t miss the intricate construction accented by adjacent colorful gardens.  Much like the aforementioned gingerbread gift, Festival Trustee Monica Oss was the high bidder on this impressive house and decided to donate it to one of Gettysburg’s most popular public buildings for continued community enjoyment.  Many families and children especially enjoyed seeing the house during the hotel’s recent “Breakfast with Santa” event.

Creating a gingerbread model of an actual structure is no small accomplishment.  But two women from Gettysburg, Donna and Teresa, set out to do just that when they created a gingerbread replica of the new Adams County Arts Council facility.  Coincidentally, the new Arts Education Center is where the 2nd Annual Gingerbread House Celebration took place.  All elements of each gingerbread house are to be edible, according to the Festival’s rules, and this entry even includes the Adams County Arts Council signage done via edible pen work.  Many thanks to Peggy Talbot of the Arts Council staff, for her high bid on this architectural gem.  Stop by the new facility, located at 125 South Washington Street, Gettysburg, where it remains on display.

If you’re still in need of Christmas stocking stuffers, i.e. “candy,” you may want to visit Mr. Ed’s Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium, a few miles west of Gettysburg on Route 30.  His corporate sponsorship of the gingerbread event allowed him to choose a storybook-style entry created by a mother-daughter team, “The Hamraps” of Fairfield, PA.  Mr. Ed is proudly displaying this candy-laden house in his unique shop.

A townhouse-style gingerbread house was appropriately adopted via corporate sponsorship by Property Management Inc (PMI) of Lemoyne, PA.  This colorful “Gingerbread Bakery” was created dollhouse-style by Chelsea Walton of Hanover, who coincidentally works as a pastry chef at a major Lancaster restaurant.  PMI is spreading holiday cheer by putting the house on public display at one of its townhouse apartment complexes, Breckenridge Village, Gettysburg, with the office located on Village Drive in the area of Gettysburg Hospital.

Finally, one additional gingerbread house–a church, actually–is on public display.  This precisely-built church, created by Rebecca Colpo of Red Lion, PA was secured via high bid by a generous donor who contributed it to a Gettysburg area community, The Preserves at Cumberland Village, located off Herr’s Ridge Road.  The spire-topped gingerbread church is on display within the neighborhood’s community building.  But a group of neighborhood women also plan on taking the church “on the road” as they go caroling at area senior centers through the holidays.  We hope it travels well and spreads community cheer!

So just like “the gingerbread man,” catch these amazing creations while you can… but unlike his fellow storybook characters Hansel and Gretel, please don’t munch on these houses while leaving your breadcrumb trails through town.  Happy holidays!

P.S. You can enjoy more gingerbread photos on the Festival’s Facebook page by clicking here.