SALISBURY, Mass., Nov. 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Charming and whimsical, gingerbread houses are quintessential symbols of the holiday season in miniature. A one-of-a-kind gingerbread house is now "under construction" in The Pavilion on Salisbury Beach. The theme of the seaside structure pays tribute to Salisbury Beach Past & Present for the delight of young and old alike. Approximately eight-feet tall and eight-feet in circumference, the completed confection will be on display from Thursday November 29 through mid-January 2013 in The Pavilion lobby, located between Seaglass Restaurant and Blue Ocean Music Hall, at 4 Oceanfront North in Salisbury, MA.
Beloved Salisbury Beach icons of the past and present will merge and morph together into one cohesive edible edifice. The gingerbread house will feature popular Salisbury Beach landmarks from the early 1900s through the present, including the intricate and massive Victorian-style Ocean Echo building that housed The Frolics (famous nightclub in the 40s through 70s); Shaheen's FUNORAMA including game stands, the Chinese Snack Bar and Bob's Roast Beef; the beloved Himalaya Ride complete with a spinning motion and sound (the original music playlist); the old Coast Guard Watch Tower and Ghost Trail Stage Coach Train from the turn of the century, as well as the current Pavilion building–complete with signs and the electronic message board that currently sits on the corner.
Twenty-nine year-old Georgetown, MA-resident and Seaglass restaurant bartender, James "Hollywood Jim" Shalkoski, is creator of the Salisbury Beach Past & Present Fantasy Gingerbread House. A Salem State and Rutgers University graduate, professional actor and artist as well as bartender, Shalkoski began baking and decorating cakes for his friends' children two years ago. He began the time consuming task of designing this year's Gingerbread House two months ago and has researched old photos of Salisbury Beach, consulted with seniors at the Salisbury Council on Aging to hear first-hand stories and memories of the Salisbury Beach of the past, and walked the Old Salisbury to Amesbury Ghost Trail. Shalkoski began the process of baking the gingerbread from scratch this week, ensuring that practically every detail is made from edible ingredients, including tiny hand-molded chocolate figures that will be scattered about the entire sculpture including the Himalaya boys.
Shalkoski has designed, measured, planned and baked, and will assemble, frost and decorate every inch of the Salisbury Beach Past & Present Fantasy Gingerbread House. Here are some of the remarkable facts and figures of his labor of love:
- The structure is made from 256 square-feet of gingerbread baked from scratch
- More than 1000 pounds of confectionary sugar
- More than 60 pounds of flour
- 40 pounds of brown sugar
- 30 dozen eggs
- 11 pounds of isamalt specialty sugar to create windows and the Himalaya ride
- 10 pounds of white chocolate is used to sculpt tiny human figures
- 8 pounds of graham crackers
- 6 gallons of molasses
- 1 gallon of corn syrup
- Over 1,000 miniature LED bulbs are incorporated throughout the structure
- 1 Christmas tree turntable motor and 1 iPod provide the spinning motion and sound for the Himalaya Ride
- Approximately 8' tall and 8' wide, the structure weighs over 300 pounds
- More than 100 hours of work over three weeks will go into creating the gingerbread house
- The theme pays tribute to Salisbury Beach amusements, landmark icons and present-day Pavilion businesses where people, then and now, come to enjoy the sea, dining, and entertainment