“While visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” seems an apt description of what creators were thinking for this year’s Gingerbread Village in downtown Seattle. The Sheraton Seattle Hotel has hosted the display for 25 years and they’ve moved it this year to the main floor of nearby City Centre (1420 5th Avenue). Our city’s top architects and master builders team up with Sheraton Seattle chefs and their culinary teams to create what could be termed “advanced gingerbread”: sugarplums & other candies, colorful Chiclet gum pieces symmetrically adhered to create a wall, gingerbread pieces become brick walls or a bridge, LOTS of frosting, and some even feature moving parts (such as a trolley on a track, or the Ballard Locks doors swinging open). This year’s theme is “A Celebration of Seattle” and each fairly-large creation features areas of the city, either in the past or in the future. They are a delight to look at, and you can vote for your favorite one.
Not only is the village visually appealing, but donations made (online or at the exhibit) will benefit the research of the JDRF Northwest Chapter, a non-profit with a vision to see “a world without Type 1 diabetes”. Previously the organization focused on diabetes in children only, but that has expanded since it affects adults as well. Different children were chosen to be JDRF Elves, and are represented by each team that completed each gingerbread creation.
The WA Athletic Club parking garage is located right next to the City Centre entrance on 6th Avenue, and after 5 pm on weekdays, it’s currently a $7 flat fee to park there. This is one of the parking options if you don’t live or work downtown and need to drive to see this year’s display.
Gingerbread Village Viewing Hours (until January 1st):
Mon.-Thursday 6:30 am- 11:30 pm
Friday 6:30 am- 12:30 am
Saturday 8:00 am- 12:30 am
Sunday 8:00 am- 11:30 pm
MORE GINGERBREAD EXTRAORDINAIRE
Another fun and labor-intensive gingerbread display is at the Fairmont Olympic Hotel (411 University St.). Walk through a life-sized gingerbread house in the hotel lobby, admire the Festival of Trees which has been hosted for 40 years, or take your kids to the Teddy Bear Suite. Donations benefit the Seattle Children’s Hospital, another worthwhile cause.
Come enjoy these “sweet” holiday traditions!