HOUGHTON - In the basement of the Carnegie Museum Tuesday, volunteers were assembling the candy-coated vista that will be on display this weekend.
The buildings and more will be showcased at the sixth annual Gingerbread Extravaganza and Open House from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday.
At noon, there will be a storytime for children led by Chris Alquist, community programs director for the Portage Lake District Library.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
From left, Ashleigh Griffin, Karen Colbert and Mimi Griffin work on building gingerbread houses at the Carnegie Museum in Houghton Tuesday.
At 1 p.m., prizes will be announced for the best gingerbread buildings, in what is the third year for the contest.
Anyone interested in helping with the gingerbread construction can also come by the museum from noon to 5 p.m. today.
"It's set up like a workshop - you can work on a building, we have candy, and structures and frosting," said museum director Elise Nelson.
From 2 to 3 p.m., children may have their picture taken with Santa Claus. Santa's chair should be familiar to longtime Houghton residents, Nelson said - it's on permanent loan from Swift's Hardware, which used it for its annual Toyland.
"We're just trying to move that tradition from Toyland to the Carnegie," she said.
The museum also recommends a donation of a nonperishable food item, which will be given to a local food pantry.
Along with the gingerbread houses on the ground floor, there will be part of an exhibit on the sandstone architecture of the Copper Country. The exhibit was displayed at the Keweenaw Heritage Center in Calumet over the summer.
The day is something many people are starting to circle on their calendars each year.
"I have people coming back every year, so it's a tradition, which is what we were hoping to establish - come to Downtown Houghton and see the gingerbread," Nelson said. "It's a fun, festive thing. No pressure. You don't have to buy anything, you don't have to choose anything. It's just good old-fashioned winter cheer."