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Visions of Gingerbread Returns for Third Year

For three years, Stamford Museum & Nature Center has celebrated the holidays with an exhibit featuring the very best gingerbread creations from bakeries around Fairfield County.

It’s all in the details — a barn roof of perfectly lined Chex cereal, a fireplace built of sugar cubes, a perfectly-textured blanket of icing snow.

is currently on display at and features eight gingerbread creations and the work of bakeries around Fairfield County.

“They respond so wonderfully to our appeal each year and it’s always a wonderful surprise what a priority they make this exhibit and the pride they take in their creations,” Rosa Portell, Curator at the Stamford Museum & Nature Center, said. “Year after year I’m so impressed. As it gets closer, we start to hear “What is so-and-so doing?” “Oh, you’ll never believe it!” Everyone gets excited about it.”

At an opening reception, the gingerbread creations were judged by a panel consisting of Portell, an artist, an architect, and a food specialist. Throughout the exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to vote for this year’s fan favorite. If you cant make it to the exhibit, you can also view the entries and vote online.

This year’s first place went to Sweet Lisa’s Exquisite Cakes in Cos Cob for their gingerbread rendering of Radio City Music Hall.

“They do these iconic buildings, one year they did the Bendel Department Store in New York City, but Radio City, the Rockettes, this is so associated with Christmas for many in the metropolitan area,” Portell said.

Cake Suite in Westport received second place for their Tower Bridge creation and in third was Izzi B's Allergen-Free Cupcakes in Norwalk for their allergen-free holiday gingerbread house.

"Their cupcakes are 100% allergen-free," Portell said. "This is great because there are kids who feel left out and think that because of allergies, sweets aren't for them."

Dough Girl Baking Company in Rowayton designed Holiday at Sea, Santa sailing his gingebread boat.

“What could be more New England than that,” Portell said. “We give very broad guidelines. They have to be a structure, but we have the boat, the tower, we had a rollercoaster one year. It doesn’t have to be a classic Hansel and Gretel gingerbread house.”

Other entries included A Trip to the North Pole — complete with polar bears and penguins — by in Stamford and Santa's Workshop — a festive celebration with accents of red and green — by Angela Mia Italian Pastries in Norwalk

The staff at Stamford Museum & Nature Center contributed two gingerbread creations. Beth Strauss sculpted a precise gingerbread model of guinea hogs ’s holiday barnyard — complete with a tiny snow pig.

“The Nightshift Bakers,” employees Lisa Combs, Cathryn Oulighan, Erica DeLuca, Victoria Marr, Marina DeLuca, Christine D’Andrea, and Kathy Juliano, spent hours after work perfecting their rendering of the inside of the historic Bendel Mansion — a virtual Victorian dollhouse made entirely of sweets.

“It was so much fun and everyone worked together so well,” Juliano said. “Everyone made their own oriental rugs, the fireplace is built of sugar cubes with royal icing — everything had to be edible, that was the trick.”

Visions of Gingerbread will continue to mesmerize visitors both young and old through January 2.

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