The 30th Annual Los Altos Gingerbread House Exhibit opens its doors Monday, November 27th through Tuesday, December 5th with an impressive display of hand-constructed displays.
Since 1987, the City of Los Altos Recreation and Community Services has been hosting this free holiday event in which individuals and groups of all ages create edible exhibits all which are designed and built by hand. The rules are simple: only edible materials may be used – no tape, glue, or pins allowed. The main structure doesn’t even have to be gingerbread; it can be built from any type of cookie, cracker, or candy.
Gingerbread itself dates back to 17th century Europe when only professional gingerbread bakers were allowed to make the spicy treat, except during the holidays. In the 1800’s, the creation of traditional gingerbread houses gained popularity in Germany, some historians claim this was a result of the popular Grimm Fairy Tale, Hansel and Gretel. The tale features a house crafted entirely from gingerbread and candy that lures the hungry siblings into the clutches of the cunning witch who lives there. Others claim the gingerbread house was around well before the tale but regardless, the popularity of crafting gingerbread houses became a holiday tradition. The ritual made its way to the United States with the Pennsylvania Germans immigrants and remains a way in which many families celebrate the holidays.
The Los Altos Gingerbread Exhibit features incredible, edible creations that include haunted houses, replicas of historical buildings, major sports arenas such as AT&T Park, sustainable homes, foreign capitals and, of course, the typical holiday display complete with gingerbread family. The display can be whimsical or realistic, or anywhere in between. The only limitations are the builder’s imagination and his choice of tasty materials.
If you’re inspired to enter the exhibit, the deadline for applications is today, November 17th.
Grant Park Community Center
1575 Holt Avenue, Room 4
Monday November 27th– Friday December 1st open 9am to 5pm
Saturday, December 2nd open 10am-2pm
Monday, December 4th and Tuesday, December 5th open 9am to 5pm