14th Annual Gingerbread Village Competition

I have been MIA for most of the year besides school and work I took on one of the biggest events of the Holiday Season in Savannah, The Annual Gingerbread Village Competition.  The Savannah Harbor Foundation was founded and started this event in 2001 after 9/11 to help keep the doors open to the Westin.  I worked in hospitality at the time and it was a rough winter, I remember pulling straws to see which employee was going to get laid off because it was that bad.

For the past several years I have taken my Girl Scout Troop over to see the Gingerbread Creations so I knew how big the setup was.  I was asked in July if I would be willing to do the Gingerbread Competition this year.  I was extremely excited and said yes.  Christmas is always bitter sweet for me and I wanted something to be excited about.  It was a lot of planning, hard work, almost tears but in the end we were able to create a beautiful mountain village.

I took notes upon notes on what I want to change for next year, if they let me do it next year (I was told it is mine until I don’t want it anymore – lol).  I have of course started on 2015, the application is finished I just need the logo and theme.  I took photos of set up so no one can say well we did it like this.  I filmed it so everyone will know how it was done.

The beginning...

The beginning…

More setup

Building mountains - there were quite a few Bob quotes floating around on this day

Building mountains – there were quite a few Bob quotes floating around on this day

Snow on windows so the sun does not melt the said Gingerbread Houses

Spray snow on windows so the sun does not melt the said Gingerbread Houses – I had no idea this stuff existed and I think I inhaled four cans of it

Lots of sheets and can snow

Lots of sheets and can snow

More setup

More setup

Another view from the side

Another view from the side

Getting there

Getting there

Still trying to figure out how to do this section

Still trying to figure out how to do this section

We figured it out!!!!

We figured it out!!!!  I work with some amazing people.  Dave and I managed to figure this gem out.  I could not have done this without him.

We are building mountains!

We are building mountains!

I think we can add houses

I think we can add houses

A beautiful Village in the works

A beautiful Village in the works – yes that is mom!  She flew down here to help me with Gingerbread and I am so very glad she did.

I got in a snowball fight

I got in a snowball fight with Phil.  This is what happens when you haven’t really slept in 24+ hours everything is funny.  This was hysterical to me.

Front area setup

Front area setup – where the winners were setup

Look there is a village

Look there is a village

48 hours later and one very, very tired Manda... we have a village

48 hours later and one very, very happy (tired) Manda… we have a village

Opening night me in front of the Village

Opening night me in front of the Village

There are so many people to thank who helped I don’t even know where to begin and if I forgot anyone I am sorry.  My mom, my boss Chris for helping me keep it together after noticing a piece was damaged and having the confidence in me to do this, my counterpart Phil (you rock!) more snowball fights in the future, Christina you have one of the steadiest hands for putting stuff back together that I have ever seen and thank you, Irene for getting those guys to work faster, the guys (Earl, Roland, Roy, Jordan) for listening to Irene, Russ and Rheubin for the pictures and helping move tables, Dave for helping me with lights, snow, building, moving, putting up fence, Trish snow and lights, Housekeeping for letting me borrow sheets and set lights, Rusty, Del, Chris and Bob for letting me take charge and not think I am a total nutcase, Nestor, Michael, CT and Toni y’all are amazing and thank you for helping me move houses and tables, Chef Mark, Keith, Gary, Dan, John, Clint, Will and Stoney thank you for helping me move houses,  Ros, Jennifer, Teresa and Dana for fluffing trees dang there were a lot of trees, Chef Black and Doreen for creating an amazing Westin, Gina for pinning the skirting and setting the lights, Virginia for helping with City Hall and all my last minute changes on posters, David for the amazing promo of the Village and finally Mark for trusting me (a rookie) with this huge endeavor for the Savannah Harbor Foundation.  If I forgot anyone I am truly sorry, I wanted to demonstrate it wasn’t just me who put this together it was everyone.  Without the staff who helped me it would still be an unfinished mess, I coordinated it but I certainly could not have done it without them.

Now after my acknowledgements I want everyone to go to the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa to check out the Festival of Lights, the Winter Carnival and the Gingerbread Village – Click Here for more information.

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