Clearwater Florida: One of Pinellas County’s largest gingerbread houses just finished construction and is open for viewing at the historic Fort Harrison. A month in the making, the gingerbread house is a scale replica of the Fort Harrison, from the 10th floor terrace to the front portico.
Standing four feet tall, the house is constructed of 185 pounds of gingerbread, 95 pounds of frosting and over 2000 pieces of candy. In addition, 1,652 individual gingerbread cookie shingles cap the roof. Completing the scene is a moving electric train, winter landscape and a ski slope.
As a relatively new addition, an 11-foot gingerbread fireplace was constructed directly opposite the gingerbread house. Complete with crackling fire (via a flat-screen TV) and a mantle full of photos, the fireplace is made of more than 170 pounds of gingerbread and 131 pounds of frosting.
Within 24 hours of completion, photos of the house and the fireplace had been forwarded by guests of the religious retreat to more than 16 countries around the world.
“It took a lot of planning, muscle and some construction work,” said the Fort Harrison’s Executive Chef Zoltan Vajna, “but it was a lot of fun and the smell of the gingerbread makes people feel right at home. The delight on the faces of children and their parents when they see the house lit, and the train running defines the spirit of the season.”
Chefs at the Church of Scientology-owned Fort Harrison have created a large-scale gingerbread house during the Holidays for the past few years.
The gingerbread house will be the centerpiece of the annual Holiday Brunch at the Fort Harrison on Dec. 9. More than 600 neighbors and friends are expected to attend.
As this is a busy time of year for Scientologists from all over the world to visit the Fort Harrison, the entire property has been decorated for the holidays with the Season's symbols and a 20 foot Christmas tree in the lobby. Those wishing to tour the facility to see the decorations are asked to call 727-467-6860 for an appointment.
The Fort Harrison is the center of the international religious retreat for the Church of Scientology. Scientology is an applied religious philosophy developed by L. Ron Hubbard, which offers a precise path leading to a complete and certain understanding of one’s true spiritual nature in relation to oneself, one’s family, groups, mankind, all life, the material universe, the spiritual universe and the realm of the Supreme Being. To find out more about Scientology, please go to www.scientology.org.
Author: Lisa Mansell