Salem gets into holiday spirit with gingerbread festival

The free festival includes a cookie decorating station, petting zoo and Santa

SALEM, Va. – This week you can see the spectacular displays built with gingerbread, holiday cheer and a lot of creativity from artists hoping to win the Salem Gingerbread Festival.

The main event, the Gingerbread Festival, is on Saturday, Dec. 5, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Longwood Park. The free festival includes a socially distanced cookie decorating station, petting zoo, caricatures with Santa Claus and more.

For the first time ever, days leading up to the festival you can view and vote for your favorite display at the Salem Museum.

Masks are required in the museum and Saturday at Longwood Park.

There’s also an online voting option, and you can find it here later this week.

“The entries this year are super unique. There’s several that depict buildings and places in Salem including the Main Street construction which I thought was humorous and I love that one. There’s also something with Disney World so that’s exciting, “ said Beth Bell, executive director of Salem-Roanoke Co. Chamber of Commerce, the organization that puts on the annual event.

The gingerbread festival is one of many holiday events happening in Salem throughout the weekend.

Festivities begin Friday with a virtual Christmas tree lighting followed by the Winter WonderLot Christmas Parade hosted by the Salem Kiwanis Club.

The floats and musical performers are stationary while you drive through the parade.

Below is a map depicting where you enter and exit:

Map of entry and exit for Winter WonderLot Christmas Parade at Salem Civic Center.
Map of entry and exit for Winter WonderLot Christmas Parade at Salem Civic Center. (WSLS 10)

“We are very excited at being given the opportunity to try to provide some holiday spirit for the community. The cancellation of the Vinton parade, which we’re sorry they’re not able to do it this year, we really are the only game in town,” said Jim Paxton parade chairman.

Paxton asks everyone attending to be patient especially because this is the first the club trying something like this.

The weekend also includes socially distanced photos with Santa with Salem’s Crafty Christmas and Salem Holiday Market happening the following weekend.

For more information, click here.

About the Author: