After the turkey comes the gingerbread |

After the turkey comes the gingerbread

Veronica Whitney
NWS Gingerbread1 11-28 BH

Five-year-old Tristan Neate liked the “Asian Fantasia” gingerbread house because he said it was full of ornaments like a Christmas tree. Will Fritsch, 5, of Indianapolis, Ind., picked “Dreaming of a White Christmas” because he liked the town made out of gingerbread.

“I like the dog house because it has a dog inside and cookie bones all over,” said Gracie Harding, 9, of Boulder. The dog house, called “Bachelor’s Fantasy” was made by the chefs at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch.

The gingerbread dog house was among 14 decorative gingerbread houses at the first-ever Fantasy Gingerbread House competition, held in conjunction with the 23rd Annual Tree Lighting Ceremony and fireworks display in Beaver Creek on Friday.

“There are great ideas here,” said Mary Morgan of Palisade. “Look at those trees made out of a stack of gingerbread, and the heart on the roof of the Hansl and Gretl house is made out of two candy canes coming together.”

Several local and regional chefs created the houses, which were up for a silent auction – prices started at $150 – to benefit Court Appointed Special Advocates of the Continental Divide – or, CASA – a local charity serving abused and neglected children in Eagle, Summit, Lake and Clear counties.

The gingerbread houses were pre-made and judged and then displayed in the Gore Range Room of the Beaver Creek Park Hyatt Resort and


“It smells sooo good here!” said a child still wearing his ski boots.

The Gore Range Room smelled of sugar, sugar and more sugar.

“It’s a children’s fantasy,” said Geordy Ogden, who with other Beaver Creek Mountain Restaurants’ chefs made the gingerbread house, “Old Tradition.”

“We used gingerbread, royal icing, sugar windows, gum drops and gummy bears,” Ogden said.

Children ran from one house to the other, while adults captured the gingerbread sculptures with their video cameras.

“We’re thrilled they’re having this presentation,” said Sherri Neate, of Parker, who came to Beaver Creek with his family for the Thanksgiving holiday.

Aside from the dog house, there was a dragon’s castle, Hansl and Gretl’s house, an enchanted castle and a gingerbread house made by three-year-olds.

The creators of the winning pieces received $500, runner-up got $250 and third place was awarded $100. Each participating chef was matched with a sponsor that contributed $500 to CASA.

“We expect to raise $10,000,” said Susan Love of CASA. “We’ll use the money to support our programs.”

Judges of the contest included: Vail Resorts’ Kelly Ladyga, John Garnsey, chief operating officer of Beaver Creek, and Chris Deigan, a local chef.

“This was our first gingerbread house competition and we’d love to continue doing it in the next years,” said Christina Schleicher, spokeswoman for Beaver Creek.

Leading a group of seven children, 11-year-old Hunter Welds couldn’t decide which house he liked the most.

“I know one thing,” he said, “we would eat any of these houses in five minutes!”

The gingerbread house display was followed by the Christmas tree lightning, a free viewing of “A Christmas Story” at the Vilar Center and free ice skating on the Black Family Ice Rink.

Holiday events at Beaver Creek

Additional upcoming holiday performances at the Vilar Center include:

– Nollaig: A Celtic Celebration of Christmas with Bohola – tonight.

– Michael Martin Murphy’s “Cowboy Christmas” – Dec. 4.

– “Wintersong: A Celebration of the Season,” Colorado Vocal Arts Ensemble – Dec. 5.

– “The Nutcracker” – Dec. 12-14.

– “A Christmas Carol” – Dec. 21.

– Boys of the Lough – Dec. 22.

– Jim Gamble’s “The Nutcracker” Puppets – Dec. 26.

Call 845-TIXS for tickets or visit for a complete

schedule of performances.

Veronica Whitney can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 454, or at

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