FORT WAYNE — The History Center’s 35th Annual Festival of Gingerbread will open Nov. 27 and runs through Dec. 13.
With new creations crafted each year by gingerbread artists of all ages and skill levels, the holiday event will continue its tradition of joyful spirit, even with necessary additional precautions.
Admission to the festival costs $6 for adults ages 18-64; $4 for seniors ages 65 and older and students ages 3-17; and is free to children age 2 and under. History Center members also receive free admission.
There is no extra charge for special activities or events unless indicated. Admission also includes the opportunity to visit the entire museum.
Extended hours during the Festival of Gingerbread are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; and Sunday noon to 5 p.m.
To accommodate as many people as possible, the History Center is launching its first ever “Virtual Gingerbread Tour,” available for purchase through its website, fwhistorycenter.org. This professionally produced video tour will feature each gingerbread creation so people can enjoy the festival from the comfort of their homes. The Virtual Tour will become available Nov. 27. The website provides additional details.
In addition to a virtual option, in order to keep guests healthy and safe while experiencing the Festival of Gingerbread, the History Center will implement additional COVID-19 precautions. While in the museum, face coverings are required at all times for everyone ages 3 and older. Socially distanced viewing stations and one-way walking traffic will allow patrons to adhere to health guidelines and promote everyone’s safety. The museum is introducing “Extra Care Hours,” Mondays-Thursdays from 2-5 p.m. beginning Nov. 30th, during which there will be additional sanitization, no exemptions from wearing face coverings for any reason and no large groups scheduled.
Additionally, in order to maintain social distancing during the busiest attendance hours (including Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays), the History Center is pre-selling tickets in 15-minute staggered tour start times. During these times, tickets are required and must be purchased in advance through its website. Additional restrictions may apply, so people may visit fwhistorycenter.org for the most up-to-ate information.
On Preview Night, Nov. 25, visitors can get a sneak peek at the gingerbread creations from 3-9 p.m., when admission is only $3 per person. Advance-sale tickets will be required for Preview Night.
Indiana Michigan Power once will again sponsor a free night at the festival on Tuesday, Dec. 1, from 5-9 p.m.. Advance free tickets will be required for the free night and are available at fwhistorycenter.org
The Festival of Gingerbread Preview Gala will take place Tuesday, Nov. 24, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission to the gala costs $25 per person, with an RSVP required.
Other special events include:
• Holiday Cards Make & Take — Saturday, Nov. 28, noon to 5 p.m., $1 plus regular museum admission;
• Legend of the Gingerbread Ornament Make & Take — Sunday, Nov. 29, noon to 5 p.m., $1 plus regular museum admission;
• Grand Drive Up Gingerbread Cookie Sale — Monday, Nov. 30, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., $1 per cookie (pre-order required);
• Visit with Santa Claus — Saturday, Dec. 5, noon to 5 p.m.;
• Holiday Storytelling — Sunday, Dec. 6, noon to 5 p.m.;
• Gingerbread Pursuit — Saturday, Dec. 12, 8:30 a.m., for more information or to register, go to veepraces.com;
• Science of Sugary Structures — Saturday, Dec. 12, noon to 5 p.m., $3 plus regular museum admission; and
• Cookie Decorating Party — Sunday, Dec. 13, noon to 5 p.m., $3 plus regular museum admission.