Gingerbread fest kicks off Nov. 27

The History Center in Fort Wayne has announced that the 35th annual Festival of Gingerbread returns Friday, Nov. 27, and will run through Saturday, Dec. 14. With new creations crafted each year by gingerbread artists of all ages and skill levels, this holiday event will continue its tradition of joyful spirit, even with necessary additional precautions.

The Festival officially begins on Friday, Nov. 27. Admission fees apply by age range, with discounts for Seniors and students. History Center members, as well as children under the age of 2, will receive free admission. Unless otherwise indicated, there is no extra charge for special activities or events. Admission fees also include the opportunity to visit the entire museum.

Extended hours during the Festival of Gingerbread are Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. The History Center will be closed on Thanksgiving Day.

To accommodate as many people as possible, the History Center is launching the first ever “Virtual Gingerbread Tour,” available for purchase through the History Center website, fwhisto rycenter.org. This professionally produced video tour will feature each gingerbread creation so participants can enjoy the festival from the comfort of their own homes. The virtual tour will be first available Friday, Nov. 27. More information may be found at the History Center’s website.

In addition to a virtual option, in order to keep guests healthy and safe while experiencing the Festival of Gingerbread, the History Center will implement additional COVID-19 precautions. While in the museum, face coverings are required at all times for everyone ages 3 and up. Six feet socially distanced viewing stations and one-way walking traffic will allow patrons to adhere to health guidelines and promote everyone’s safety.

The museum is also introducing “Extra Care Hours,” Mondays through Thursdays, from 2 to 5 p.m., beginning Monday, Nov. 30, during which there will be additional sanitization, no exemptions from wearing face coverings for any reason and no large groups scheduled. Additionally, in order to Cont. on Pg. 9 maintain social distancing during the busiest attendance hours (including Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), the History Center is pre-selling tickets in 15-minute staggered tour start times.

During these times, tickets are required and must be purchased in advance though the History Center website. Additional restrictions may apply. Visit the History Center website for the most up to date information.

On preview night, which will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 25, visitors will get a sneak peek at the gingerbread creations from 3 to 9 p.m., with discounted admission rates. Advanced tickets will be required for preview night. 

Indiana Michigan Power will once again sponsor a free night at the Festival on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. Advanced free tickets will be required for the free night, available at the History Center website.

Festival of Gingerbread 2020 events include the following:

• Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. - Festival of Gingerbread Preview Gala (additional cost associated, registration required).

• Wednesday, Nov. 25, from 3 to 9 p.m. - Preveiw Night (advanced tickets required, discounted admission available).

• Friday, Nov. 27, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. - Festival of Gingerbread Opening Day (advanced tickets required for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays).

• Saturday, Nov. 28, from noon to 5 p.m. - Holiday Cards make and take event (small fee associated on top of admission fees).

• Sunday, Nov. 29, from noon to 5 p.m. - Legend of the Gingerbread Ornament make and take event (small fee associated on top of admission fees).

• Monday, Nov. 30, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. - Grand Drive Up Gingerbread Cookie Sale (small fee associated per cookie. Pre-order required.)

• Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 5 to 9 p.m. - free night, sponsored by Indiana Michigan Power (advanced tickets required). • Saturday, Dec. 5, from noon to 5 p.m. - Visit with Santa Claus. • Sunday, Dec. 6, from noon to 5 p.m. - Holiday storytelling.

• Saturday, Dec. 12, at 8:30 a.m. - Gingerbread Pursuit (for more information or to register, visit veepraces.com).

• Saturday, Dec. 12, from noon to 5 p.m. - Science of sugary structures (small fee associated on top of regular admission).

• Sunday, Dec. 13, from noon to 5 p.m. - Cookie decorating party (small fee on top of regular admission associated).

• Sunday, Dec. 13, from noon to 5 p.m. - final day for Festival of Gingerbread.