Gingerbread Village planned at Festival of Trees

Be watching for Starkville’s own Polar Express riding through the Gingerbread Village as part of the 2011 Festival of Trees event Nov. 10-11 and 13 at the Palmeiro Center on the Mississippi State University campus.
Model trains donated by Jan Rhodes, Heath Gilmore, Frank Wallace and Dwayne Lyons will be on display along with the Gingerbread Village.
“This year’s Gingerbread House event will feature artistic creations with model trains circling creating our own Starkville Polar Express,” said Geneene Saunders, chair of the Gingerbread Village.
“So many have been interested and willing to loan the Festival their model trains and many others are anxious to come and see them.”
As part of this year’s event, Saunders is involving many of the MSU International students as part of the activities. International students have attended classes on making houses and have volunteered to make trees and take shifts running the trees.
Saunders said Chandler Franklin, a 4th grade student from Ward Stewart School was the first person to sign up to make a gingerbread house. 
“We’re excited about finding more students and their parents who want to get involved too,” Saunders said.
Many local professional bakers have signed up to make Gingerbread creations for the event including, Carol Taylor, owner of The Cake Box by Sweet Temptations; Rachel Pitman with The Ritz Theatre and Conference Center;  and Trey and Michael Goff from Bulldog Deli.
From the community, the Starkville Fire Department will be making Gingerbread representations of the various Starkville stations for the event.
The Gingerbread Village is a competition for the best houses in various categories.
Winners will be selected by impartial judges and items will be auctioned at the Holiday Party. 
All proceeds will benefit the United Way of North Central Mississippi and the 18 organizations it serves in Starkville and the Golden Triangle.
Bakers are needed to assist current projects. Interested students and their parents can contact Saunders now to sign up for a Gingerbread House making class. To schedule a class, call Saunders at 323-7819.