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Gingerbread Houses on Parade at St. Mark’s Church

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(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 www.losolivosca.com/los-olivos-olde-fashioned-christmas/.
 
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 www.SMITV.org.

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

 
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