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Gingerbread contest, caroling and more on deck at Murrysville's annual 'Night of Lights'

Patrick Varine
| Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018, 2:48 p.m.
Above, Brown Troop 46768’s entry in last year’s Gingerbread House Contest.
Submitted photo
Above, Brown Troop 46768’s entry in last year’s Gingerbread House Contest.
Above, an entry in the 2017 Night of Lights Gingerbread House Contest. This year’s Night of Lights is set for Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, 6 to 8 p.m. in Murrysville.
Patrick Varine | Tribune-Review
Above, an entry in the 2017 Night of Lights Gingerbread House Contest. This year’s Night of Lights is set for Friday, Dec. 7, 2018, 6 to 8 p.m. in Murrysville.

As a leader for Brownie Troop 46768 in Murrysville, Selena Barefoot knows the importance of connecting young people with their communities.

So it only made sense that she would get her girls involved with Murrysville’s annual Night of Lights celebration, which will be from 6 to 8 p.m., Dec. 7 at Murrysville Towne Square near the intersection of Sardis Road and Old William Penn Highway.

Specifically, Barefoot had Brownie troop members enter the Night of Lights Gingerbread House Contest.

“We talked about the value of events like Night of Lights and about the role we were taking on as contributing community members in sharing our gingerbread village, both as part of the fundraiser component at Night of Lights and to simply help bring joy and holiday cheer to everyone who came to the event to see the displays,” she said.

Last year was the troop’s first year entering the contest. Each of its seven members created a small house using a milk carton as the base, and Barefoot collected them together into a miniature gingerbread village.

“I wanted them to feel that they were an important part of what was going on, and that their role in the community event mattered,” Barefoot said.

Troop members this year will collaborate to create a train, train station, houses, stores and trees for their gingerbread project.

Several Brownies said their biggest challenge last year was getting the icing, which serves as glue, to stick to their milk cartons.

This year, “we’re going to take turns watching so the houses don’t fall down until the icing sets up,” said Brownie Jillian Dell.

Barefoot’s daughter Cassidy plans to use Kit Kats to create a faux wooden floor in the train station.

And as would be expected for a group of children, temptation is always an issue.

“The hardest part last year was not eating all the candy to decorate with,” said Brownie Hailee Capets. “And getting all the little details to stay on the house.”

Barefoot said the girls now have a much better understanding of how to collaborate on a group project.

“It is amazing watching children grow,” she said. “With each idea they bring to me, I ask them to think about what they will need and how they will make it. … I think the Gingerbread Display is a wonderful opportunity for our community.”

At Night of Lights, attendees can vote for their favorite gingerbread house by donating $1 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Patrick at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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