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Sweet endeavor: Annual gingerbread display takes shape of amusement park

Sweet endeavor: Annual gingerbread display takes shape of amusement park

Coburg Village creation features pretzel roller coaster, carnival stands made of gingerbread and trees made from upside-down sugar cones
Sweet endeavor: Annual gingerbread display takes shape of amusement park
The Coburg Village culinary staff's creation for annual gingerbread display.
Photographer: Kassie Parisi

REXFORD -- At the Coburg Village retirement home in Rexford, there is one sign to residents that proves the holidays have arrived: the organization’s unveiling of its annual, giant gingerbread display.

Each year, the culinary staff spends hours planning and constructing a large gingerbread display, which involves pound upon pound of candy, frosting and other edible components.

This year’s theme, which was an amusement park, consists of a pretzel roller coaster, carnival stands made of gingerbread and trees made from upside-down sugar cones.

Danielle Wagar, culinary director at Coburg Village, said just building the structure took over 160 hours. That did not include the time spent planning the project, and drawing initial renderings.

Each year, the gingerbread display has a different theme. Figuring out what to build usually consists of Wagar and her staff brainstorming ideas.

“Something will kind of stick,” Wagar said.

The gingerbread display is placed on a piece of wood that is 6 feet long, 3 feet wide and covered in frosting. 

This year’s display used 15 bags of pretzels in various sizes, 40 pounds of candy and 55 pounds of frosting. It took roughly three weeks to assemble and, as usual, was unveiled to residents during a happy hour.

Wagar said the gingerbread project at Coburg Village is in at least its 13th year. The display is always a hit with residents, but also with family members who come to visit them during the holidays.

“The kids light up when they see it. It doesn’t get stale,” Wagar said.

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