Festival of Gingerbread

Posted on Nov 27 2023 in Travel
Gingerbread House
Craftmanship takes center stage in elaborate gingerbread creations.

By Natalie Derrickson

When the weather turns cold, one need only visit the Fort Wayne History Center’s Festival of Gingerbread to be enveloped in the warmth of the season and the tantalizing aroma of gingerbread. 

During the festival’s run from Nov. 24 through Dec. 17, visitors can expect to see professional-level gingerbread creations, including depictions of noteworthy historic architecture, holiday scenes and pop culture standouts, alongside entries submitted by students, adults and families. 

No matter which gingerbread creation catches your attention, you’re sure to be impressed by this incredible local holiday tradition, now in its 38th year. In 2022, the number of festival attendees topped 13,700. Even more are expected this year since festival-goers can also explore the recently renovated Fort Wayne History Center. 

“What’s been rewarding is that we’ve experienced record submissions in all categories,” said Fort Wayne History Center Executive Director Todd Pelfry. “That really shows that people are ready to return to in-person events, especially for the holidays.”

Plan to dedicate 60-90 minutes to peruse the festival during peak hours, and up to two hours to enjoy the History Center’s other exhibits. Festival aisleways are ample and accessible, so there’s plenty of space for all visitors to enjoy the gingerbread creations, even on the busiest days. 

The Festival of Gingerbread kicks off during Fort Wayne’s annual Night of Lights Nov. 22 in downtown Fort Wayne. Visit fwhistorycenter.org for hours and up-to-date information, and to purchase virtual tours of some past festivals.  

NATALIE DERRICKSON is a freelance writer from Indianapolis.

Photos courtesy of Fort Wayne History Center.