Saturday, December 16 , 2017, 4:12 am | Smoke 54º


Gingerbread Houses on Parade at St. Mark’s Church

Click to view larger
(St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Church)

St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church & Preschool and the nonprofit Arts Outreach invite the public to attend the fifth annual Gingerbread Wonderland benefit, 4-8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, at St. Mark’s campus, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.

Admission is free for all ages.

The church’s Stacy Hall will be transformed into a Gingerbread Wonderland featuring more than 100 handmade gingerbread houses on display crafted by local schoolchildren, families, organizations and businesses.

Guests can vote for and enter to win their favorite gingerbread house creations using $1 raffle tickets they can buy at the event.

Now in its fifth year, Gingerbread Wonderland is a family-friendly gathering as part of long-time annual Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas festivities.

“All these gingerbread houses really embrace the Christmas spirit," said Yvonne Lowe, St. Mark’s Preschool director. "We are so grateful for the community who come out to support Arts Outreach and St. Mark’s Preschool.”

According to event organizers, several messages from the North Pole have been received indicating Santa Claus will be visiting from in the church’s common room, providing a cozy place for kids to share their Christmas wishes with the jolly man.

Diane Byington and her Solvang Conservatory students, accompanied by St. Mark’s music director Beverly Staples, will provide seasonal music along with performances by Valley Glee.

In the church courtyard, children can create and decorate Christmas ornaments and prepare an angel halo for the 5:45 p.m. procession leading to the 6 p.m. Los Olivos Christmas Tree lighting at the flagpole one block away.

For those who'd enjoy some refreshments during Gingerbread Wonderland, the courtyard at St. Mark’s will have complimentary coffee and hot apple cider. Baked goods and other food will be offered for purchase.

The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s priest and rector, said, “We are thrilled to host these family-friendly activities for the community again as part of the Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas. This day is a wonderful way to celebrate the season.”

Additional Olde Fashioned Christmas activities include local crafts people and artisans showing their creations for sale at the Artists Bazaar, 1-8 p.m. at Los Olivos Grange Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave.

For details on all Dec. 2 festivities, visit
For more information on making a gingerbread house, participating in, supporting or attending Gingerbread Wonderland, contact Lowe at 688-1815 or Sandie Mullin, Arts Outreach executive director, 688-9533.
For more about St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, visit

— Laura Kath for St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >