NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Five downtown businesses are participating in the Gingerbread House Walk Contest and participants are encouraged to visit local stores and vote for their favorites.
"We hope to see all sorts of creative ideas of what a gingerbread house could be," organizer Keifer Gammell said. "Based on last year's entries, which were all very different and fantastic, we expect to see even more."
The event was first held last year. Emilee Yawn of the Plant Connector on Eagle Street hosted it. Gammell, who entered the contest last year, said he wanted to help organize the event this year.
"It was a sort of last minute idea to engage with the community in a way that was different and socially distant," he said.
Voting takes place in the stores where the gingerbread houses are hosted. Businesses include the Plant Connector, The Parlor, The Bear and the Bee Bookshop, Savvy Hive, and Common Folk.
Participants get 5 votes per store.
"We hope that while people are enjoying their friends, family and community members' creations they'll pick up something from the stores," Gammell said. "Getting people downtown is important, keeping them downtown is also important. Expanding to several stores creates another reason for people to walk around downtown."
The winner receives $100 to spend locally.
Yawn said they have already begun receiving gingerbread houses
"We already started receiving houses, and they're amazing," she said. "... We're really looking forward to seeing what everyone makes."
She added that BoHo Nouveau Bakery has donated 10 community gingerbread house kits.
Beyond being a fun festive event, Gammell said he hopes the event draws attention and customers to local businesses.
"It's important to support our local businesses all of the time," he said. "December is important as many are shopping for the Holidays. We want to keep that money locally if possible."
He added that it is also a fun activity for the holidays.
"We really hope that families enter their creations," he said. "Making things together can create lifelong memories. Showing them off to your community is a super added bonus, especially if you win."
The houses will be on display Friday evening. Voting takes place between Dec. 10 through the 23. The winner will be announced Dec. 24.
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North Adams Women's History Hall of Fame Inducts New Members
Heather Boulger, left, Constance Tatro and Morgan Goodell at Tuesday's night ceremony at City Council.
Tuesday night saw the recognition of longtime School Committee member Heather Putnam Boulger, well-known child-care provider Constance Tatro and the city's first woman firefighter Morgan Goodell, as well as two historic figures — City Councilor Lottie Harriman, who helped establish the city airport, and Probation Officer Lois Quinn.
"This was created to honor women who contributed to laying the groundwork for women leaders in our community and to reinforce that all of us are valued community members," said Macksey at Tuesday's City Council meeting. "While we honor these fine women, we must also honor all women who make a difference each day. No matter what role you play your positive impact on the community is much need and appreciated."
Boulger, Tatro and Goodell attended the event and two of Quinn's relatives accepted the plaque in her honor and Keith Bona was asked to step in to accept Harriman's award as he had nominated her. He asked that the plaque be placed at the new building at Harriman & West Airport.