Kudos to Jennie Lajoie for spearheading the initiative to honour with a plaque the organizers behind the popular Gingerbread Warming House, an essential fixture of Amherstburg’s River Lights Winter Festival.
“The Gingerbread Warming House is a much loved and integral part of the festival in which thousands of families have visited Amherstburg to not only enjoy the lights, but to partake in the activities and beauty of the Gingerbread Warming House,” said Lajoie in a submission to council Monday night on behalf of the River Lights Winter Festival Committee.
“Karen and Mark Usher begin working on the structure almost immediately after each previous festival. Night and day, cold, rain, snow and every other element imaginable, they never waver to get the Gingerbread Warming House ready to provide warmth, hot chocolate, a children’s program and beautifully hand-crafted decorations in welcoming residents and visitors to Amherstburg.”
The transformation of the pavilion in Toddy Jones Park is really quite astonishing. There’s nothing there now except for a roof and a brick fireplace in the middle of the structure. There are no walls.
I snapped a picture of the pavilion on the weekend and had to double check with a friend to make sure we were talking about the same location. How could this open-concept pavilion be the same Warming House I’d been to in the winter? Hard work. Dedication. Elbow grease.
Council agreed to erect a plaque similar to the one affixed to the interior brickwork now.
Mark praised Karen for doing the bulk of the work and thanked the town for taking on the annual lighting extravaganza.
“River Lights is something super special,” he said. “It’s about family. That’s what it’s all about. Family and history.”