Life-size gingerbread village debuts in Phoenix


by Christina O'Haver

Posted on December 1, 2013 at 3:44 PM

Updated Sunday, Dec 1 at 7:06 PM

Map: Gingerbread village

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PHOENIX -- It took 16 pastry chefs 4,000 pounds of cookie dough, 2,000 pounds of icing, 750 pounds of sugar and 25,000 eggs to create this Christmas display.

Santa's Christmas Village, featuring 13 life-size gingerbread houses, debuted at JW Marriott Desert Ridge Resort & Spa on Saturday.

"When you walk into the lobby, the first thing that hits you is just the smell of ginger and cinnamon and spice, and then you see the village as you walk through," said Senior Pastry Chef Joshua Cain. "It's just amazing."

The village covers 1,500 square feet of the hotel lobby and took the pastry team two months to create. The resort's engineering staff also helped by building a support structure for the massive display.

Pastry cooks crafted 3,200 individual gingerbread bricks to build the 4-by-6-foot houses.

The village includes a hospital, firehouse, post office, library and clock tower. Santa can be seen stuck in a chimney.

Walking through the village is free and open to the public. The display will continue through Dec. 28.

Santa's elves will also make periodic appearances at the resort.

JW Marriott is located at 5350 E. Marriott Drive in Phoenix.