Yonkers Children Make Sweet Gingerbread Creations

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Majdi Issa of Yonkers works Thursday evening during the third annual Gingerbread House Young Decorators Showdown inside La Pinata Bakery on New Main Street in Yonkers. Photo Credit: Matt Bultman

YONKERS, N.Y. – A group of Yonkers children whipped up a few sweet homes Thursday in a tasty holiday build-off.

Armed with gingerbread, icing and a pile of candy, six children from the Yonkers YMCA battled for the title of master decorator inside La Pinata Bakery during the third annual Gingerbread House Young Decorators Showdown.

For one hour, the children glued their gumdrops and candy canes onto the cookies with white icing, each hoping to impress the judges with the most creative gingerbread house.

“It’s all about having fun,” said Roberto Espiritu, owner of La Pinata Bakery. “This is something different and a way for kids to get involved in the community.”

But the builders weren’t alone as they worked meticulously to make sure every candy piece was in place. There to help were three culinary students from Saunders Trades and Technical High School.

Steve Sansone, executive director of the Yonkers Downtown Business Improvement District, said they came up with the idea for a gingerbread house showdown a few years ago as a way to enjoy the downtown and its businesses during the holiday season.

“The event has become a holiday tradition that I look forward to continuing, along with many other holiday celebrations, for years to come for the children in the downtown,” he said.

After the work was over, the evening’s special guest judges, Santa Claus and the Gingerbread Man, selected a winner: 11-year-old Emily Rodriguez.

While some children debated whether they should display their handiwork at home, Majdi Issa said he knew exactly what he was going to do with his.

“I’m going to tear this up when I get home,” Issa said as he hurried to pack up. “I can’t wait to eat this.”

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