Gingerbread-making is a much-loved holiday ritual in Western Connecticut, where many unusual events celebrate this delicious tradition. This year visitors will have the chance to admire some amazing gingerbread creations—and to make their own.
MAKE A UNIQUE NATIVITY
To put a delightful new twist on an old tradition, join the Gingerbread Nativity-Making session on Saturday, December 8, part of the annual Christmas Festival Weekend at the Lourdes Shrine in Litchfield. The weekend includes a candle-light Carol Sing on Saturday Night and charming Living Nativity reenactments on Sunday afternoon, December 9. The Nativity pageant, a community affair with lots of children, animals and music, will be performed twice, at 3 and 4 p.m. For details and to reserve spaces for the nativity-making workshop, phone 860-567-1041 or see www.shrinect.org.
VISIT A GINGERBREAD VILLAGE
This is the 44th year for the lavish gingerbread village at St. George's Church in Middlebury, CT, a perennial family favorite. This room size creation opening on December 1 is created by members of the community and includes more than 60 gingerbread buildings iced in rainbow colors, with tasty details like candy cane pillars and M&M roofs. The village is complete with decorated trees, candy fences, horse and sleigh teams, ponds, boats, and sledders, all dressed in Christmas finery and all made of edible parts. This year's theme is Gingerbread Dreams. Everything is for sale, available to take home when the display ends on December 8. The event includes a Bazaar with homemade baked goods and crafts for sale and admission is free. For details, phone 203-758-9557.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Gingerbread creations from a fully furnished parlor decorated for the holidays to the Meadowlands football stadium have been seen in the past in Visions of Gingerbread: The Sweetest Architects, an annual exhibit at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center that challenges the talents of the area's finest chefs and caterers. Entries in the fourth annual contest will be on display November 17 through January 27, 2013. Visitors are invited to vote for the "Fan Favorite" of the year. Learn more at www. stamfordmuseum.org.
MAKE YOUR OWN MASTERPIECE
Those who would like to create their own gingerbread houses can find classes for adults and children (ages 5 and up) at The Silo Cooking School in New Milford. The Silo is offering sessions several times daily on November 23, 24, 25, 30 and December 1,2,7 and 8. The cost is $85 for each adult team or each parent-child team, up to three people. The popular classes often sell out but would-be bakers can check for openings or waiting lists at 860-355-0300. The Silo is part of the Hunt Hill Farm Trust, and is found on-line at www.hunthillfarmtrust.org.
For more information about gingerbread adventures, directions to events and listings of all the holiday doings in the region, contact the Western Connecticut Convention and Visitors Bureau, PO Box 968, Litchfield, CT 06759, 860-567-4506, www.visitwesternct.com. Visitors can request the free newly published edition of UNWIND, a 152-page color guide to what to see and where to dine and stay in the Litchfield Hills and Fairfield County.