Gingerbread Houses Built by Elementary School Children on Display – Press Release 12/06/2003

DATE 12/06/2003 11:59 AM

This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete Country Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S. Highway 89.

Gingerbread Houses Built by Elementary School Children on Display

Downtown Mt. Pleasant has once again been transformed into a gingerbread land.Gingerbread houses made by children from five local elementary schools are being showcased at Beck’s Home Furnishings, 15 West Main Street. They will remain in the large display windows throughout the holiday season. Prizes will be awarded for the best houses in two categories later this month.

The annual gingerbread house competition has become one of the most beloved “newer” Christmas traditions in the area. “There is just something about a gingerbread house and Christmas,” says Christy Johansen, of Mt. Pleasant’s Main Street Program, who is coordinating this year’s event. “People are excited to come by and see what the children made. The houses are always amazing. It s fun to get the children involved this way, and to see what themes the children pick every year,” she said.

In past years, entries have included castles built out of graham crackers, houses built from homemade gingerbread, horses made from gum drops and pretzels, people skiing down candy mountains and even Harry Potter themes, Johansen said. “We’ve had brothers and sisters work together on houses and entries built by two and three children, and they are all very creative.”

The gingerbread houses were made by children from elementary schools in Fountain Green, Mt. Pleasant, Fairview and Spring City. Those on display were chosen as the best houses from each school in two categories: kindergarten through grade 3, and grades 4-6. “We try to have about four houses from each school. Sometimes the judges have a hard time making up their minds so we have a few more,” Johansen said. “Every year, support for the program increases. The schools have been incredible, and we’ve had so many children interested in taking part.”

The houses on display will be judged by a committee of five people on Dec. 16, and prizes awarded Dec. 20. There will be a first, second and third-place awards in each division, with $70 awarded for first place, $35 for second place and $20 for third place. In addition, the elementary schools that produced the first-place winners each receive $50 for use in the school.

“The judges are looking for creativity, originality, and most importantly, for houses that were worked on entirely by children, without any help from mom or dad,” Johansen said. “That is always part of the criteria: did the child do this on his or her own?”

For more information Contact:Monte Bona
Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council
(435) 462-2502
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