We barely have pumpkins out and yet we’re talking about Gingerbread Houses. The Holiday season is approaching quickly and for those of us in retail and service industries, we need to be ready to take advantage of this 4th quarter and finish strong for 2017.
In 2016, as an avenue to attract shoppers and visitors into Ashland, we organized a Gingerbread Trail for businesses wanting to participate, which kicked off on the day/night of “Light Up the Tracks” and most of you have expressed an interest in repeating the Event this year. The concept is that participating businesses would create a Gingerbread House using a “Train” theme. The houses would be ready for display at a prominent spot at your business on December 2 and remain on display through December 31. If you’re a little intimidated by the thought of baking or creating such a display — – no worries — there’s no rules about soliciting some help or advice from a baker or artist — and it’s totally up to you who gets the props.
Gingerbread Trail cards will be created with a map key of participating businesses and these cards will be available to shoppers and visitors at the Visitor’s Center, Library, Museum and at Participating Businesses. Participating Businesses may wish to offer a discount or incentive to folks who show their Trail Card. Also, we’re hoping that the Participating Businesses will encourage “Snap and Post” selfie pictures of their customers and the Gingerbread House, tagging and posting on social media sites which will not only give the Business some attention, but draw attention to Ashland. (Example: Post a picture and tag with #AshlandGingerbreadTrail #Jake’sPlace)
This will NOT be a contest among businesses, but an opportunity for customers and visitors to enter to win an Ashland Gift Certificate, as customers and visitors will be invited to drop an entry card in designated boxes which will be located at the Participating Businesses, Visitors Center and the Library. Participating Businesses will be given a decorated box/container and pad of entry forms for customer entries. All entries will be gathered on January 2 and a winner will be drawn and awarded an Ashland Gift Certificate.
Just a couple of simple Rules for the Gingerbread Houses:
1. Must be a Train Theme
2. All visible features must be edible.
3. And NO RULES ON HELP — you can call in the expert bakers and artists, if you want.
Here is an entry form to complete and e-mail back to me no later than November 17, 2016 so that your Gingerbread House can be included on the Gingerbread Trail Map.
Cheers to a Merry and Prosperous Holiday Season for Ashland!