The Erie Canal Museum’s Gingerbread Gallery has been a popular holiday destination for the past 37 years.
Steve Caraccilo, the museum’s operations manager, has been there for 24 of them.
“It’s gotten quite popular,” he said. “It’s become one of the family traditions. We get a lot of repeat visitors.”
The Gingerbread Gallery began as one-day event in 1986. These days, it runs for six weeks, allowing visitors to walk through an 1800s canal town with gingerbread creations in the storefront windows.
Caraccilo said it typically takes about two and a half to three weeks to put the exhibit together.
“On average, we’ve had about 30-35 houses in the past,” he said. “This year, we’re going to have about 45-50…We put the word out, and anybody is eligible to enter. We have families do it. Girl Scout troops. Nursery school classes. There’s a category for seniors. Some professional bakers.”
When you’re done admiring the handmade creations, make sure to check out the museum’s eight permanent exhibits (they’re included with admission to the Gingerbread Gallery), including a full-size replica boat and children’s area.
“We’ve discovered that we’ve become peoples’ go-to choice for bringing out of town visitors,” said Caraccilo. “It seems like people are quite proud of this place.”
If You Go
Gingerbread Gallery, Erie Canal Museum
Where: 318 Erie Boulevard East, Syracuse.
Hours: Daily (except Christmas, New Year’s Day) through Jan. 8 from 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Admission: $10/adults; $7/seniors (65+); $4/children ages 3-17; free/children ages 2 and under.
More information: eriecanalmuseum.org/gingerbread.
Check out the full December issue below!