When the Newark Arts Alliance held its inaugural gingerbread house competition last year, Joseph Daigle stole the show with his model of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater. So when the organization planned this year’s competition, Executive Director Terry Foreman was left wondering what Daigle would do for an encore.
“That was crazy. How could he top that?” Foreman said. “And, sure enough, he did.”
This year, Daigle submitted a jaw-dropping replica of the Notre Dame in Paris, complete with stained glass windows made from gummy bears and illuminated with LED lights placed inside the structure.
“Everyone knows of the Notre Dame’s rose window,” Daigle said. “It seemed like a good way to try to make stained glass windows that are edible.”
He worked for six days on the project, with the help of his parents. He estimated that baking and construction took a combined 120 man-hours.
Daigle’s gingerbread house was one of four submitted this year.
“The others were more traditional, but still fun,” Foreman said. “Everybody puts thought into it. They don’t do the same old thing, they put their spin on it.”
Mary Anderson designed a tree house. Carole Fox made a model of a house at the corner of West Main Street and Hillside Road, where a brick wall outside is often hit by cars – which is also depicted in gingerbread.
“She just thinks that’s the funniest thing,” Foreman said.
Dragonfly Leathrum made a dog house with humorous, anti-cat slogans written on the outside walls.
“When you get put into the doghouse, you’re in trouble, so I thought, let’s make the dogs kind of rowdy,” she said.
Leathrum noted that she used to make gingerbread houses professionally for Bing’s Bakery.
“It’s fun to actually get to take my time and do one, rather than 30 at a time,” she said.
The gingerbread houses will be on display at the Newark Arts Alliance, 276 E. Main St., until Nov. 20.