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Sweet tradition maintained in North End

KINGSTON — Gummy worms, chocolate chips, red hots and cereal were slowly making their way onto gingerbread houses and into mouths during Saturday’s Farm Kitchen Gingerbread House Party. Though most of the structures leaving the building that day were covered from rooftop to foundation in icing and candy, more went into the creators of these works of food art.

Since the parties began eight years ago, they have become a part of family holiday traditions. Each year a myriad of newcomers joins in the gingerbread parties, while others have been coming since the beginning. This year’s final party was held Saturday, and approximately 30 eager builders showed up to decorate and wrap up the season in sweet style.

“Well, it’s all kinds of fun,” said second-year gingerbread house builder Rowan Fox. “We did it last year. I think it’s all the candy that makes it magical, all the things that can go on a house, all things like candy going on a fence.”

She said she didn’t build gingerbread houses as a child as much, mainly because there weren’t such parties in existence. Fox’s daughter, 4-year-old Lily Howton, was enjoying the opportunity to do what her mother hadn’t — loading up on plenty of sugar along the way. After last year, Fox said they learned their lesson and made sure Howton had a good breakfast before ingesting large quantities of candy.

“Last year when we came, we didn’t eat much lunch,” she said. “This year we learned from that, and I made sure she had a good breakfast, eggs and bacon, plenty of protein, before coming here.”

Ali and Nick Elsberry were also second-timers and this year introduced 3-year-old Christian Doolittle to the joys of gingerbread houses. As his nanny, Ali felt it was important he know how much fun it can be.

The Farm Kitchen holds many special memories for the Elsberrys who were married there last summer.

“Patience, and a lot of creativity,” Ali said of what goes into a good gingerbread house. “And lots of sugar. He got to decorate on this side of the house, and we did the other.”

The side Doolittle was given free reign over had Scottie dog candy, gummy worms and other fun and colorful decorations all over it. The other had cereal shingles for the roof and an orderly garden, though the mish-mash look of the house worked well. Ali said they would most likely save it, especially after Doolittle ingested so much candy at the event.

“We did this five years ago,” said 12-year-old Rebecca Gallivan as she was getting ready to take her newly-decorated gingerbread back home. “We usually go and do the houses every year.”

She said frosting and detail go into making a good gingerbread house, while her younger brother, Jonathan Gallivan, 10, said candy made his house special.

“Love,” added Maria Gallivan, 7, of her own. All three said it was more than likely their houses may not survive a car ride of nibbling.

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