FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Thanksgiving may be a few days away, but the History Center is already gearing up for Christmas. The downtown landmark hosted awards for its annual Festival of Gingerbread Sunday. There are 135 creations on display at this year’s festival.
“Although, we’ve been presenting the festival for 29 years, you never know what’s going to come through the door,” executive director of the History Center, Todd Maxwell Pelfrey, said.
Simply stepping foot into the History Center will take you on a trip around town. You’ll see replicas of Summit City landmarks like the Old Fort and Parkview Field. For some designers, this competition carries special meaning.
Take Danielle Oliver for example. She recreated the historic Chief Richardville House. She got second place in the teen individuals category.
“In my heritage, I am part Native American. So, I wanted to have a house that reflected that,” Oliver said.
Danielle started competing in the festival when she was nine-years-old. Ten years later, it’s probably safe to say, she’s a pro.
“In all, it took about 40 hours of putting it together,” Oliver said.
After nearly two days of hard work, she can offer some serious advice to future designers.
“Never be afraid to use too much icing. The more the better,” Oliver said.
As for ingredient recommendations, the master decorator has a few.
“The main ingredients for my house are tootsie rolls for the steps, chocolate covered rocks for the pavement, and wonderful starbursts for chimneys,” Oliver said.
The festival kicks off this Wednesday for the Night of Lights festivities, is closed on Thanksgiving Day and re-opens November 28 to December 14th.