Mt. Pleasant holding a sweet holiday event

| Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2012, 12:16 a.m.

Mt. Pleasant Borough officials are hoping that creative groups and individuals from the area will join in their latest project for holiday fun — a Gingerbread House Tour.

The borough is inviting anyone from the area to participate in the tour by submitting an old-fashioned gingerbread house. All entries will be judged and displayed in the front windows of local businesses to showcase the creativity put into the project and decorate for the holidays in a fun and unique way.

“We wanted to do something a little different this year, something new,” borough Manager Jeff Landy said. “We thought that this would be a fun idea that would appeal to a lot of different people.”

For the past several years, the borough has displayed in shop windows parts of the vintage Christmas collection created by former borough resident Barry Premoshis. Town representatives thought they would try the gingerbread houses for a change.

“Mr. Premoshis has done a great job, but we know it's very time-consuming for him, so we are trying the gingerbread houses this year,” Mt. Pleasant Mayor Gerald Lucia said. “Perhaps next year we will have both.”

The contest is open to all children and adults, groups, culinary students and professional cakemakers.

The houses can be constructed of any material that is safe to eat, but must not contain eggs, butter or any ingredients that can spoil. They can be of any design, can be made from kits or from scratch, and should be made with transportation in mind.

Entries should not exceed 2 feet in height and cannot contain batteries or any type of electronic components. Proceeds will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.

There will be prizes awarded to the top three voted on by a panel of judges. There will be a People's Choice Award, which will be given to the house with the most votes. Votes can be made at the business where the house is displayed.

“I was really pleased with the number of businesses that we got who want to be a part of this,” Landy said. “Everyone that we went to said yes, so that is exciting. This event will also be good for the businesses that participate, because people have to go inside to cast their votes.”

The idea was proposed by resident Christine Barnhart, who has participated for the past several years with her daughter in an event held in Pittsburgh.

“My daughter and I made a gingerbread house for the past few years and took it to Pittsburgh and I thought that something similar might be a nice idea to try in Mt. Pleasant,” Barnhart said of the event held at PPG in Pittsburgh. “We moved here a few years ago, and I think that Mt. Pleasant has such a cute Main Street. I thought that this would be something fun to do here.”

Barnhart stressed that the entries do not have to be of only houses.

“They can be anything,” Barnhart said. “I have seen them spaced like Three Rivers Stadium or Elmo or just about anything.”

Barnhart said she doesn't want people to think that making an entry has to difficult. “I don't this to be daunting. I want it to be fun.”

Entries will be accepted until Nov. 2. Finished entries will be displayed in the store windows from Nov. 20 through Dec. 21.

Entries will then be available for purchase or to be picked up on Dec. 22.

For information or to print out a packet, visit the borough website at and follow the links. or visit the borough office.

Marilyn Forbes is a freelance writer.

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