Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Gingerbread housing market flourishes


Every year, I marvel at the creativity and competitive spirit that goes into the Pinellas gingerbread event to benefit the American Red Cross chapters in Tampa Bay.

I had to miss the fun this time, but elves who did attend report a bigger crowd — more than 200 — in the Grand Ballroom at the Don CeSar Resort in St. Pete Beach.

Participants get brunch, but that often is fuel for the energy put into decorating gingerbread houses supplied by the kitchens at the Don. Executive chef Eric Neri and his staff paraded huge bowls of icing to the tables, which were laden with candies supplied by Wal-Mart and supplemented by the hotel.

When the frosting and licorice and peppermint sticks settled, the winners' list included Adrian Anderson, Best in Show with her Phantom of the Opera-themed manse; Debbie Barcelona, Most Futuristic, "Shuttle Rocket Takeoff"; Pasadena Wives Club, Best Theme, "The Bugs"; Davina Gould, Most Traditional, "Real Candy"; Katherine Franckle, Most Fun, "Penguin Spa Time"; Darby Dickerson, Original House, "Ho, Ho, Ho"; Valentina Escobar, Best Sports, "Go Gators"; and Barbara Zaccaria, People's Choice, "Hunting Campground." Two teams won additional awards for a "Candy Condo" deemed Sweetest House, and for "Feeling Fruity," a runner-up.

Karol Bullard and Mary Critchfield are the longtime co-chairs of the event, and Tampa Bay Rays senior adviser Dick Crippen volunteers as the master of ceremonies. Ronay was a key sponsor.


Historic Old Northeast neighbors Bill Moore and Amanda Taylor love to entertain. Instead of having individual holiday parties this year, they combined resources, obtained a city permit, rented a tent, and blocked off part of St. Petersburg's 16th Avenue NE, inviting friends and neighbors to their block party.

Moore, who is retired from the St. Petersburg Fire Department, and Taylor, a lawyer with Trenam Kemker, supplied the grill, food and soft drinks; guests brought harder stuff if they wanted, and about 100 partygoers filled the area between 5 and 9 p.m.

"Times are hard," Moore said, recalling the get-together. "We're blessed with having some means. It was great for people to get together and have food."


Members of the GFWC St. Petersburg Woman's Club made donations to seven area charitable organizations at their annual Jinglefest Christmas luncheon. Beneficiaries are Big Cat Rescue, the Christmas Toy Shop, Help A Child, R Club, Resurrection House, the St. Petersburg Free Clinic and the SPCA.

The women also brought new toys to give to the Christmas Toy Shop.

Judy Zamanillo and Joanne Walker were co-chairwomen for the event, which featured a performance by St. Petersburg High School's Pitchforks, led by choral director David Lawhead.

The club's Saturday group sponsored its annual cookie exchange the next day, filling baskets with cookies for Ronald McDonald House.

Gingerbread housing market flourishes 12/20/08 [Last modified: Saturday, December 20, 2008 3:31am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rowdies shut out at Pittsburgh


    PITTSBURGH — The Rowdies lost their first USL game in nearly a month, 1-0 to Pittsburgh on Thursday night.

  2. Trump reveals that he didn't record Comey after all


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump declared Thursday he never made and doesn't have recordings of his private conversations with ousted former FBI director James Comey, ending a monthlong guessing game that he started with a cryptic tweet and that ensnared his administration in yet more controversy.

    President Donald Trump said Thursday that he didn’t record his conversations with James Comey.
  3. Lightning fans, don't get attached to your first-round draft picks

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — When Lightning GM Steve Yzerman announces his first-round pick tonight in the amateur draft at No. 14, he'll invite the prospect onto the stage for the once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity.

    Tampa Bay Lightning left wing Jonathan Drouin (27) eludes  Montreal Canadiens left wing Phillip Danault (24) during the second period of Wednesday???‚??„?s (12/28/16) game between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Montreal Canadiens at the Amalie Arena in Tampa.
  4. Investigation Discovery TV show profiles 2011 Landy Martinez murder case


    The murder of a St. Petersburg man will be featured this week on a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery.

    Jose Adame sits in a Pinellas County courtroom during his 2016 trial and conviction for first-degree murder. Adame was convicted of first-degree murder last year for torturing and then executing his boyfriend as he pleaded for his life in 2011. Now it will be featured in a new true crime series Murder Calls on Investigation Discovery. The episode will air on June 26 at 9 p.m. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD   |   Times]
  5. Uhuru mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel protests exclusion from debate


    ST. PETERSBURG — Jesse Nevel, the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement candidate for mayor, on Thursday demanded that he be allowed to participate in a July 25 televised debate between incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman and challenger Rick Baker.

    Mayoral candidate Jesse Nevel holds a news conference outside the headquarters of the Tampa Bay Times on Thursday to protest his exclusion from the mayoral debate. Nevel is a member of the International People’s Democratic Uhuru Movement.