About 50 people spent last Friday evening at Pakachoag Church decorating a variety of gingerbread creations.  This is the third year that Pakachoag has hosted this event, and it has grown every year.

“We only had about a dozen people the first year.” says Lainey Hanlon, Pakachoag Director of Family Ministry.  “Last year we had a number of gingerbread kits donated by local businesses Bed, Bath and Beyond, Park ‘N Shop, Wal-Mart, and Shaws, so we were able to offer this to more people.”  Hanlon also took advantage of post Christmas sales, scooping up dozens of kits at steep discounts in the weeks after Christmas.

“The idea was to get people to enter our Gingerbread Festival Contest.  We figured if we gave people a chance to come together, have a nice evening, get in the holiday spirit and decorate gingerbread, they would be more likely to leave their  creations here on display until after the fair.”  says Hanlon.

It worked.  Pakachoag’s second annual Gingerbread Festival last year drew over 30 entries. This year, the Festival is being combined with a holiday bazaar featuring vendors, refreshments, a visit from Santa Claus, and, of course, gingerbread.

The Gingerbread Festival is happening this year on December 7, from 9am to 2pm.  If you are interested in being a vendor, tables are $25.  All proceeds are going to Toys for Tots.

If you would like to enter your own gingerbread creation into the contest, you can bring it to Pakachoag Church Friday Dec. 6 between 12pm and 5pm, or Saturday morning between 8am and 9am.  There is no charge to enter the contest.

The visitors to the event will be asked to vote for their favorite gingerbread creations in three categories – Youth (under 10); Youth (11-18); Amateur and Professional categories for adults.  Voting will be concluded about 1pm with winners announced and prizes awarded at 1:30pm.

If you just want to come shop and enjoy the Festival, there is no charge, but cash and non-perishable food donations will be accepted for Toys for Tots and local food banks.  Santa Claus is expected to visit about 9am to 10:30am.