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Seventh Annual Gingerbread…Gifts…Glitz…

When you think of the holidays, do you think of gingerbread houses? If you don’t maybe it’s because you never experienced the professionally-made houses featured each year at the historic Gilda’s Club mansion on Delaware Avenue. It’s a wonderful chance to dive into the holiday season and support a worthy cause at the same time. Here’s Christa’s take on the event from last season:
For any home cook that likes to make the simplest of candies or decorate cakes, Gilda’s Club of WNY will be hosting its 5th annual holiday event which combines the display of compelling gingerbread houses along with the opportunity to purchase fine handcrafted items from local artists.
Gingerbread, Gifts and Glitz is truly a joy. It is a real treat to tour the beautiful interior of Gilda’s House, while perusing the fantastical gingerbread works presented by students, amateurs and professional pastry chefs.
Since the Food Network began airing professional pastry challenges, the skill level demonstrated at events like this has increased dramatically. Though Necco wafers still make great shingles, last year I noted a variety of techniques, including sugar–both poured and pulled–and items lovingly constructed of marzipan, gum paste and, of course, chocolate. The winners were impressive, but so were almost all of the pieces entered.
Gingerbread, Gifts and Glitz offers a rare opportunity to get inside the minds of professional pastry chefs and to study their work up close. If you’re planning to make a gingerbread house this year, no matter how scaled-down it may be, this is the place to find some inspiration.
In addition, the houses are up for auction. On the upper floors of Gilda’s, the most seamless creations created by professionals and amateurs go for top dollar. Downstairs, houses made by students are also for sale. Whether you’re looking for the Grinch, Santa lounging oceanside, igloos and penguins or castles and knights, there’s sure to be a gingerbread house that speaks to you. The fact that the money all goes to charity is just icing on the, well…roof.
If you have very (really, I mean very) well-behaved young ones, it is a great holiday tradition to wander the many cozy rooms of this beautiful house and marvel at the colorful, ingenious and aromatic entries. The houses are delicate and there are a lot of them, so you may want to think twice if you have kids that could have a hard time restraining themselves from touching candy-covered works of art. Additionally, due to the lack of space, the Gilda’s website asks that visitors not bring strollers.
The creativity on display at Gingerbread, Gifts and Glitz is not limited to edible structures alone. On the main floor, a stunning selection of jewelry, scarves, bath and body products and decorative housewares are available. The level of quality among the pieces available is really stunning, a far cry from the less enthusiastic work we’re used to seeing at the thousands of jewelry/gift/craft shows we stumble into every year. Last year I was impressed to find many items made with great care and attention to detail, using quality raw materials along with tremendous imagination and skill.

“as part of Artists In Buffalo’s Holiday Open Studios and Galleries”
To Benefit Gilda’s Club Western New York
1140 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo 14209 | 716.332.5900
Start Time: Saturday, December 6 at 11:00am
End Time: Sunday, December 7 at 6:00pm
Where: Gilda’s Club Western New York

Written by RaChaCha


RaChaCha is a Garbage Plate™ kid making his way in a Chicken Wing world. Since 2008, he's put over a hundred articles on here, and he asked us to be sure to thank you for reading. So, thank you for reading. You may also have seen his freelance byline in Artvoice, where he writes under the name his daddy gave him [Ed: Send me a check, and I might reveal what that is]. When he's not writing, RaChaCha is an urban planner, a rehabber of houses, and a community builder. He co-founded the Buffalo Mass Mob, and would love to see you at the next one. He represents Buffalo Young Preservationists on the Trico roundtable. If you try to demolish a historic building, he might have something to say about that. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum.

Things you may not know about RaChaCha (unless you read this before): "Ra Cha Cha" is a nickname of his hometown. (Didn't you know that? Do you live under a rock?) He's a political junkie (he once worked for the president of the Monroe County Legislature), but we don't really let him write about politics on here. He helped create a major greenway in the Genesee Valley, and worked on early planning for the Canalway Trail. He hopes you enjoy biking and hiking on those because that's what he put in all that work for. He was a ringleader of the legendary "Chill the Fill" campaign to save Rochester's old downtown subway tunnel. In fact, he comes from a long line of troublemakers. An ancestor fought at Bunker Hill, and a relative led the Bear Flag Revolt in California. We advise you to remember this before messing with him in the comments. He worked on planning the Rochester ARTWalk, and thinks Buffalo should have one of those, too (write your congressman).

You can also find RaChaCha (all too often, we frequently nag him) on the Twitters at @HeyRaChaCha. Which is what some people here yell when they see him on the street. You know who you are.

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