It wouldn’t be the holidays in Pittsburgh without sinkhole bus gingerbread houses
This year’s Christmas is filled with visions of … buses in sinkholes.
It’s not as festive as the traditional sugarplums, but the infamous sinkhole in Pittsburgh’s Downtown figures prominently in the 2019 Pittsburgh Gingerbread House Competition.
The annual competition is displayed this year at the City-County Building in Downtown.
This is the 17th year the competition has been held. It previously was at the PPG Place Wintergarden, but moved to the City-County Building because of renovations at PPG Place.
The smell of gingerbread and other sweet treats slowly growing stale has wafted through the lobby of the grand edifice this week as the city prepares for its annual kickoff of the Christmas season Friday during Comcast Lightup Night.
Among hundreds of houses from residents, organizations, schools and youth groups, there are four recounting the morning of Oct. 28 when a Port Authority of Allegheny County bus fell into sinkhole that opened up on 10th Street between Penn and Liberty avenues. The one passenger on the bus received a minor injury.
The bus, tilted at a 45-degree angle with its front in the air, remained in the sinkhole for the entire day and made national news.
The image of the elevated bus became an instant local icon. It was a popular Halloween costume. A Christmas ornament using the image of the sunken bus is on the market.
It’s been an insanely busy 15 days but these sillly things are starting to ship.
You can still order them as long as you’re cool with getting yours by February.
Thank you Pittsburghers!!
— toby atticus fraley (@tobyfraley) November 20, 2019
The Leechburg Area High School culinary arts students made one of the four entries featuring the sinkholed bus.
This is the first year the district has entered the contest. It’s a good way for the students to use their creativity and have fun, teacher Jill Shipman said.
“They did that on their own,” Shipman said. “I know I have a lot of creative students.”
The gingerbread house display continues through January.
“It’s wonderful. It’s nice that it’s in a public forum that people can come and see it. It seems perfect,” Kristen Ford of Ross said as she was looking at the display Wednesday.
She’s active with Girl Scout Troop 28867 and was looking for the troop’s entry in the contest.
Jim Patenesky of Allison Park enjoyed looking at the houses during a break from jury duty.
“I think it’s very nice. I enjoy seeing where they’re from and who is making them,” Patenesky said.
Tom Davidson is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, [email protected] or via Twitter .