By Alyssa Schnugg
The Annual Holiday Village at the Gertrude Ford Center quickly became an Oxford favorite Christmas tradition when it began 11 years ago. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it will continue this December, albeit with a few changes.
The event is moving to the main stage at the center to allow for safe, social distancing. Featured will be the gingerbread houses, ceramic winter village with a working train, and a North Pole Mailbox where little ones can mail their wish lists right to Santa.
A new feature this year will be a holiday wreath display and, just like the gingerbread houses, the LOU community is welcome to contribute a special homemade wreath.
Another special feature will be a LEGO gingerbread house built by the Ford Center staff.
“We are not able to have Santa visit or bring in the schoolchildren for storytime, but we will have many things designed to bring you cheer during December,” Center Director Julia Aubrey in a recent email.
The Holiday Village, which is free for everyone to view, will be open on Dec. 3 and close on Dec. 17.
Kate Meacham, marketing director for the Ford Center, said people visiting the Holiday Village will be limited to 25 at a time and the public is being asked to sign-up online for a 20-minutes time slot to visit. The sign-up sheet will soon be available on the Gertrude Ford Center website.
For groups and individuals wanting to create a Gingerbread house, displays can be no larger than 2.5-square-feet but may have multiple houses within that area. Gingerbread submissions must not come from a kit.
Wreaths should be no larger than 2.5 feet in diameter to the outer edges and must have a loop attached for hanging.
Installation of the Gingerbread houses and wreaths will take place from 8 a.m. To 5 p.m. on Dec. 1.
For guidelines and registrations forms, visit https://fordcenter.org/build-a-gingerbread-house/.