There are 42 restaurants, shops and other businesses participating in this year’s display of gingerbread houses in downtown Plymouth.
The gingerbread house display was not held last year, but was held the two previous years. Downtown retailers put the event together and the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Development Authority helped with logistics by advertising and distributing posters and forms.
“They did it because they felt like they needed some activity to bring some life to the community and give people a reason to come down and visit and walk throughout different stores and restaurants,” said Wes Graff, Executive Director of the Plymouth Chamber of Commerce. “The downtown retailers asked everyone to do it, and those who agreed, did the houses.”
All those who visit local participating businesses and then vote for a favorite will be entered in a drawing to win a basket of gift certificates to some of the downtown retailers or free tickets to the Penn Theatre.
There were no rules or guidelines for businesses to follow when making their gingerbread houses.
The Candy Trail opened in March 2009, so the store was not able to participate during the previous gingerbread house displays.
“I never have participated before and I thought it was a good idea,” said Sandi McGrew, owner of The Candy Trail. “It’s kind of fun to make a gingerbread house, and you know, I had a lot of candy in the store.”
McGrew let one of her employees, who is in school for culinary arts, make the gingerbread house however she wanted. However, it’s technically not finished yet.
“She has a cottage to go with it, she hasn’t finished that yet,” said McGrew, who added she'll have to get an earlier start next year as the contest opens on Nov. 26.
Quite a few people have been wandering in and commenting on the display, according to McGrew.
Stella Delap, owner of Basket Kreations, has participated in all three years the downtown retailers have organized the gingerbread displays.
“I just think it’s a nice activity for families and people to get involved in,” Delap said. “It makes it exciting to see all the different stores that participate and how they do their gingerbread houses. And some of them get very elaborate.”
Delap’s gingerbread house focused on chocolate this year.
“Just because we do so many chocolate baskets, chocolate candy gifts and all of that,” she said. “So I did a chocolate, edible house.”
In previous years, Delap has gone around to see the different houses for herself. She just has not had a chance to get around to it yet.
“I just think it’s fun to go through and see which ones that people like and also to vote on one,” Delap said. “It really does bring people in. It’s a nice way to bring people to your store.”
The last day to cast a vote will be Thursday. Forms can be picked up at participating locations, display boxes at Kellogg Park, in front of the Chamber of Commerce at 850 W. Ann Arbor Trail, or online.
Votes can be turned in at Sun & Snow at the corner of Main Street and Ann Arbor Trial or at the Chamber of Commerce office.
Drawings will be held after Christmas.