Gingerbread Social highlights month of holiday events |

Gingerbread Social highlights month of holiday events

Jarid Shipley
Appeal Staff Writer
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal It's time to prepare entries for the 2006 Virginia City Gingerbread Contest, sponsored by the Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority. Entries are due Dec. 9. Professionals, amateurs, children and seniors are invited to participate.

When the competition involves gingerbread, candy and frosting, it tends to get taken pretty seriously. At least, that is, in Virginia City.

Entries for the Virginia City Gingerbread Social aren’t due until Dec. 9, but competitors have already begun planning their doughy dream homes.

“We already know of five or six entries that have begun. We’ve had as many as 32 entries some years,” said Alesaundra Atreides, coordinator.

Rose Picard will be competing in her first social, but building a gingerbread house doesn’t scare her, having worked as a pastry chef for the last 15 years.

“Our general manager came to us with an application and it seemed like a nice thing for charity. So I and Paul Samsel are both entering,” Picard said.

Both Picard and Samsel work as pastry chefs at the Casino Fandango.

Picard is calling her creation Santa’s Castle, while Samsel has titled his Winter Wonderland.

Picard’s castle will use five pounds of gingerbread dough and three pounds of icing and take more than 10 hours to complete.

In an added bonus, Picard’s 13-year-old daughter Krystal is also designing an entry.

“She thought it would be neat, but I told her I can’t help her with hers,” Picard said. “It just wouldn’t be fair.”

The Virginia City Convention and Tourism Authority sponsors the event as a fundraiser for various community organizations and causes. This year, the proceeds will benefit Let’em Run, a wild horse organization in Virginia City, and a children’s Leukemia support organization in Reno.

There are four categories in the competition: Advanced/professional, open, youth and senior. The advanced category encompasses entrants who have previously won first place in the adult category and includes professionals in the food industry. The adult category is open to anyone who has not previously won in that category.

The youth category is for children age 13 and under and the senior category is open to entrants ages 55 and older.

• Contact reporter Jarid Shipley at or 881-1217.