Mount Airy children had their holiday priorities straight on Friday when rapidly accumulating snow caused schools to close early, but the ginger cookie workshop at the Surry Arts Council defied the snow and went on as planned.
“We had 117 pre-registrations, and a waiting list,” said Antonia Cawley, Surry Arts Council director of operations and organizer of the event. “Some people called to cancel because of the snow, so we were able to call some of the people on the waiting list and tell them to come.” There’s a lot interest in this event.
Cawley said the event takes three hours of preparation to set up, so she was not eager to shut it down. Some people, in an attempt to get home before the snow got worse, picked up their supplies and took them home.
Others had called and asked for the materials to be saved for them and picked up on Monday. Cawley agreed to the request and said that anyone else who registered but was kept from attending by snow should call the arts council on Monday and arrange for pickup.
“I’m not ready to throw this away,” she said of the candy and houses that had not been used.
Decorating a sugar cookie house is an intense procedure, according to Naaman Ballantine (age 8), who has done about eight of them in his eight years. The job requires a good deal of taste testing, and like many of the house-building children, Naaman had traces of the white icing they were using as mortar/glue smeared around his mouth.
“I do have three cavities,” Naaman confided, out of earshot of his mother.
A few tables over, Ella Glyn Hopkins (age 6) had finished decorating her house and was working on her house’s candy landscaping. Ella Glyn calculated that she has done about six houses. “I like color,” was her design philosophy, with her mother adding that she wants to be an artist.
“Last year, we put it out in the woods,” she said of the gingerbread house she made in 2016.
After the gingerbread house sat out the winter in her house, according to Ella Glyn’s mother, they decided to put it outside for the animals to enjoy.
“And the ants came!” Ella Glyn squealed with excitement.
Her mother agreed. “We watched the ants devour it.”
“And there was a lizard inside!” Ella Glyn can’t wait to do the same with her new gingerbread house and hopes the results will be equally exciting.
Some of the other children’s plans for their houses were less exotic.
“Eat everything,” said Matteo Ortiz (age 4). “Eat it,” agreed Isaiah McCann, (age 7).
Ellie Zubieta (age 6) and Addison Zubieta (age 3) planned to take their gingerbread houses home. “I’m going to set it in our house so Santa can see it when he comes,” said Ellie. Addison decided she would do the same.
When asked if they are concerned that Santa might eat the houses, thinking they have been left out as a snack to sustain him on his busy night on Christmas Eve, the girls say no.
“I don’t care,” said Ellie. “He can have it. He likes sweets.”
Reach Bill Colvard at 336-415-4699.