AFCEA Washington, DC’s Winter Gala, now in its 45th year, incorporates both classic traditions and modern elegance, making it the premier social event of the holiday season for the Federal IT community.
The Story of the Gingerbread Houses: An AFCEA Washington, DC Tradition
This time of year, gingerbread houses are prevalent. You can purchase building kits at local craft stores. Many venues showcase their pastry chef’s creative, architectural wonders. The delightful scent of cinnamon and nutmeg combines with the seasonal fir to create the classic smell of winter.
AFCEA Washington, DC joined this tradition in 2009, when it first began including massive, elaborate gingerbread houses at our annual Winter Gala.
Planning for the gingerbread houses begins with design discussions during the summer with the caterer. Windows Catering shared "the AFCEA gingerbread houses take about three months to design, bake, build and decorate. This year’s structures measure about 2.5 feet wide and nearly 5 feet long, with the exception of one that will be nearly 30 feet round. We have a very talented artist/architect/ partner that creates to-scale models of each structure. Then, our team of bakers bake sheets and sheets of gingerbread. Each house may use 10–30 gingerbread cookie sheets to create the structure. Once the structure is in place, all cemented by more than 15 gallons of royal icing, the Windows team goes to work to add the whimsical candy magic to bring the houses to life.”
Since 2013, in coordination with USO of Metropolitan Washington, the gingerbread houses are delivered to Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Fisher House and the Children’s Hospital so patients and their families can continue to admire their splendor after the event.