Christmas spirit was in the air at Belmont Secondary school on Thursday as more than 170 students gathered to compete in the school’s third annual gingerbread building contest.
“It’s the third year we’re running this event and it just keeps getting bigger every year,” said teacher, Kelly Boyte-White, one of the organizers of the event.
“We have our own students as well as a large number of students from the International Student Program of SD62. We also have students from our Avid 12 program (a program that focuses on preparing for post secondary education) and the Belmont student ambassadors who work closely with the International Program. We were also happy to welcome three recent immigrants from Syria to the event. They all got together to compete for who could make the best gingerbread house.”
With the competitors originating from at least 17 different countries, Boyte-White acknowledged that some of them may never have experienced the gingerbread house tradition, but that fact appeared to have little impact as students worked in teams to create the most fantastic structures possible, all the while sneaking the odd jellybean or candy kiss from the pile of “construction materials” available at every station.
“This isn’t about Christmas so much as exposing kids to the community holiday tradition and the celebration that takes place this time of year” said Boyte-White. “It’s about welcoming new comers and visitors to our community and sharing some of our holiday traditions. And it’s about having fun.”
Boyte-White explained that the gingerbread houses were being judged for originality and general appearance and the winning teams were rewarded with movie passes, presumably so they will be able to take in their favourite Christmas movie.
No word as to whether the new Star Wars movie qualifies as Christmas fare.