Auburn celebrates annual Christmas Parade, gingerbread village

Auburn celebrates annual Christmas Parade, gingerbread village

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - Christmas spirit has made its way to Auburn, and although the weather was hanging around in the 70s, the holiday feeling was in the air.

This was one of the largest parades put on by the Chamber of Commerce in a very long time.

"I would venture 25, 30 years at least, at least," said Lolly Steiner, president of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. "It has always been a program of the Chamber's, it is one of our quality of life programs that we do as a gift to the community."

This year's parade featured more than 80 groups, ranging from local businesses, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Chick-fil-A, and a local petting zoo.  All of these groups worked very hard on their floats. Some of the crowd favorites were Frozen's Elsa, the Gingerbread Man, and of course Santa.  

Following the parade, people made their way over to the Hotel at Auburn University for the unveiling of their Gingerbread Village.

Hans van Der Reijden, managing director for the Hotel at Auburn University, explained how this magnificent display comes about.

"We partner with the school of building science at Auburn University," he said. "They build the models to scale and then we take about 3 weeks to cover them completely in gingerbread. Then we have employees from all over the hotel, we have 220 employees, they split up into small teams and then go all out."

The Gingerbread Village has been a part of holiday tradition at the Hotel at Auburn University for seven years now. They began with a village featuring only three houses; in today's model they have 11.

As you would imagine it takes quite a bit of ingredients to make an 11 building Gingerbread Village. The hotel uses 250 pounds of gingerbread, 100 pounds of icing, 75 pounds of candy, 212 sheets of gelatin, and 15 pounds of gum paste to construct their masterpiece.

The display will be open to the public through January 2 at the Hotel at Auburn University.

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