Gingerbread Village showcases Austin's eclectic side

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by TERRI GRUCA / KVUE News and Photojournalist ERIN COKER

Bio | Email | Follow: @TerriG_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 25, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 5 at 4:56 AM

AUSTIN -- A sweet tradition welcomes in the holidays in a way only Austin can.

For years the chefs at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Austin have created a magical village that brings out the kid in all of us.

This year they put a unique twist on the tradition.

They are the places and faces we know and love. From the iconic to the ironic they are what make Austin eclectic.  This year they are sweeter than ever.

"We decided this year to bring it close to home," said Javier Franco, executive pastry chef of the Four Seasons Hotel.

At the Four Seasons Hotel Christmas begins in July.

Franco and his team spend months and hundreds of hours crafting the tiniest of details, so we can enjoy a little taste of the holidays.

The Willie Nelson statue “was hand carved out of chocolate,” he said.

This is the seventh year for the Four Seasons gingerbread village. It gets better every year.

From the ice cream cones that make up the trees, to the painted gelatin fire pit and pretzel picnic tables at the Salt Lick, every single item in the village is edible.

"It's awesome! I can't believe people can do this with treats and stuff," said 9 year old Natalie Gordon.

Perhaps the sweetest part of this village is the sale of these house will be given to the Seton Shivers Cancer Center.

"It is a great feeling to do this,” said Franco. “To know that all the work we put into this is for a cause."  

Since 2005 these realistic replicas have helped raise $42,000 dollars.The goal this year is to raise another $5,000.

It's easy to see why.

"I like that tower," said one little boy.

Everyone seems to find a favorite, even the man in charge.

"I really like the cathedral of junk it's got hundreds of pieces. It's a unique piece," said Franco.   

Whether it's the Pennybacker bridge or the Continental Club, this winter wonderland gives you a real taste of Austin.  

You can check out the gingerbread village and buy some of the homes for yourself in the lobby of the Four Seasons downtown.

There are special open houses on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, Dec. 3 - Dec. 5.

You can enjoy complimentary self parking, hot apple cider and cookies. Plus Santa will be there to take pictures with your children.

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