Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Annual holiday gingerbread house event goes virtual


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Bessemer — The annual gingerbread house event at the Bessemer library is being held virtually this year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In years past, residents would come to the library and build their gingerbread houses on a specific day. However, this year the library is providing gingerbread house kits and families are instructed to build their gingerbread houses at home and then submit a photo of their completed project to the library, so that it can be posted on the library's Facebook page.

“It's not a contest, It's really an event,” said library director Melissa Lupino. “It's a lot of prep-work. It's a lot of people that show up (in years past), a lot of cleaning afterwords. It is an event.”

Lupino said that she initially made 50 kits and has already distributed 35. Each kit contains enough supplies to make one gingerbread house and includes graham crackers, a packet of icing mix and an entire bag of various candies to decorate with.

“It's like this engineering thing to figure out how to make this house stand up and then stand up under the weight of all the candy that they put on it,” Lupino said.

She said organizers also have kits to make gingerbread Christmas trees. She said those kits have sugar cones instead of graham crackers and make it easier for the really young children to participate.

“I saw it online a few years ago and said, 'Oh that's brilliant,' because we had an age cut-off,” Lupino said. “People would bring their toddlers and there wasn't really anything for them to do. Because the houses — I mean you have to balance them and there is patience involved and nothing that a toddler is very great at. Then we added those Christmas trees and that's been really fun.”

“There is a little bit for everybody,” Lupino said. “It becomes a bit more accessible. They don't have to have their parents help so much with it.”

The library started handing out gingerbread kits to families on Monday and will continue to hand them out through Dec. 12. The library is only offering curbside services, so those wishing to obtain a kit can do so by calling the library upon arrival and kits will be brought to them.

“It's so much fun to see what they come up with,” Lupino said. “That is just my favorite thing to see.”