The magical world of “Candy Land” is coming soon to Four Seasons Hotel Austin with the return of a beloved holiday attraction.

Scheduled for unveiling on November 25, 2014, the Hotel’s Gingerbread Village – an annual tradition since the 1980s – this year takes its inspiration from the popular children’s board game of the same name.

2014 Gingerbread House in Progress

2014 Gingerbread House in Progress

The theme will take shape in 10 unique houses including such whimsical landmarks as Candy Castle, Licorice Forest and Gumdrop Mountains. Several smaller scenes and accessories – such as the iconic Candy Land Sign, Rainbow Bridges and Queen Frostine – will also dot the fantasy Village landscape.

In addition to the requisite candy accoutrements – from lollipops and chocolate rocks to cooked sugar, candy canes and licorice rope, just to name a few – this year’s houses will be made with completely edible ingredients including more than 112 pounds of flour, 72 pounds of sugar and 75 pounds of icing. Each house can take up to 30 hours to craft so the pastry team has been working on their designs since July, says Executive Pastry Chef Javier Franco.

“We all played Candy Land as kids so we jumped at the theme idea when it came up during our brainstorm this summer,” said Javier. “Since then, we’ve been researching the game and how it has evolved over the years so that we can incorporate a mix of ‘lands’ from both the original board game as well as more recent versions.”

Javier really encouraged his team to tap into their inner child when designing this year’s houses. “It’s all about having fun and creating a unique representation of our own Candy Land that guests and children will want to come see.”

While the annual Gingerbread Village is a must-see holiday attraction in Austin, it’s also a fundraiser benefiting cancer patients in Central Texas. Each year, the Gingerbread houses and accessories are “sold” to individuals and businesses with all proceeds benefiting the Seton Shivers Cancer Center. In exchange for a donation ranging from $100 to $650, sponsors are able to display their name or message in front of their house throughout the season. Since 2005, more than $50,000 has been raised through house sales.

Locals and visitors interested in seeing the Gingerbread Village will be able to view the display 24 hours per day through December 31, 2014.

For those who’d like a more intimate look at the Gingerbread Village, the Hotel will also host Holiday Open Houses on December 2 and 3, 2014 from 5:00 to 6:00 pm in the Lobby. These free events are open to the public and feature complimentary hot apple cider, Candy Land-themed treats, photos with Santa and the opportunity to meet Javier and the other talented pastry chefs behind the Village.

For more details on the 2014 Gingerbread Village, or to inquire about purchasing a house, please call (512) 685-8048.

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