Bakers throughout the community will come together this month to celebrate a Jacksonville holiday tradition. The 17th Annual Gingerbread Extravaganza will showcase edible holiday creations in support of the educational programs and archives of the Jacksonville Historical Society.
Visitors will enjoy nearly 50 handmade gingerbread creations beginning December 4th at the Old St. Andrews event venue in the Downtown Sports & Entertainment District.
The Gingerbread Extravaganza is funded in part by a grant from the Delores Barr Weaver Forever Event Fund. The Gingerbread Extravaganza was founded and hosted by the South Jacksonville Rotary from 2003 to 2010. The Jacksonville Historical Society became the host of the event in 2011.
Activities include scavenger hunts, tours of the Merrill House, strolling through the Holiday Shop, hot apple cider and photo opportunities. Attendees can also cast a vote for People’s Choice Winners.
Top contenders include the third grade students from St. Mark’s Episcopal Day School who paid tribute to the Jacksonville Landing with a gingerbread replica under the leadership of Ms. Drew Haramis. This is the ninth year the grade level has participated in the Gingerbread Extravaganza. Each year the class selects a historic Jacksonville building to represent in gingerbread form as they study the history of Jacksonville.
Baking History, an educational baking group from the Durbin Crossing neighborhood of St. Johns County, commemorates the 30th anniversary of the falling of the Berlin Wall with a gingerbread replica of the wall completed with a late November graffiti signing event for participants and neighbors.
“Thirty years ago, on November 7, 1989, one of the most recognizable icons of the Cold War met its end,” says lead teacher Yiffie Winkler. “This huge, physical metaphor invites us to look at one of the most tense periods of the 20th century and ponder people’s ability to stir change.”
Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers honors the centennial of the Jacksonville Terminal with a gingerbread replica of the terminal. Founded in 1983, the Florida Coalition of Rail Passengers works to preserve and improve passenger rail service. FCRP is an all-volunteer organization made up entirely of citizen rail advocates who advocate for Amtrak, commuter rail, intercity rail and transit for Florida’s future.
Old Stanton High School is an entry by the Frank H. Peterson Academies of Technology, a DCPS high school with a focus on careers in Aviation, Robotics, Cosmetology, Communications, Automotive, Agriculture and Culinary Arts. Old Stanton High School was founded after the Civil War to provide educational opportunities for former slaves and free blacks. Stanton has a rich history that includes nearly eight years of James Weldon Johnson as Principal and the expansion of the school to include a high school as well as elementary grades. The goal is telling the story of our Duval County’s most accomplished high school, and to highlight it’s heritage, while exercising design, physics, construction and teamwork skills to replicate an old building in edible materials.
You may find you have too many favorites to cast a vote. Come see this magical Jacksonville holiday tradition while it’s fresh out of the oven, through December 28th. General times are Wednesday-Friday from 11am-5pm, and Saturdays from 10am-5pm. On the 15th and 22nd, the Extravaganza will also be open on Sunday from 11am-4pm. For more information visit their website.