Home sweet home: Gingerbread man moves to mansion in Runaway Bay

By Austin Jackson | Published Wednesday, November 28, 2018
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Chrtistmas Castle

CHRISTMAS CASTLE – On Monday, the RB Golf Club and Resort fnished construction on its 9-foot-tall gingerbread house. More than 40 pounds of candy was used to decorate the holiday display. The castle features candy canes, rock sugar, gum drops, gingerbread shingles and royal icing. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

While several construction projects are underway at RB Golf Club and Resort in Runaway Bay, one massive endeavor has been christened just in time for the holidays.

Yep, the Gingerbread Man is moving on up in the world to a towering mansion, and even the scroogiest of critics would agree – it’s pretty sweet.

After almost two weeks of carefully coordinating more than 50 pounds of gingerbread, cardboard and candy pieces into a castle of frosting-forged cheer, the finishing candy cane touches were added Monday to the 9-foot-tall gingerbread house in the golf course’s clubhouse.

It was the brainchild of Mark Cocanougher, whose design was inspired by the Eltz Castle in Germany and the Bouzov Castle in the Czech Republic. He wanted to do something big.

“We wanted a big piece, a showpiece for the club,” Cocanougher said. “Originally it was going to be all gingerbread, but structurally that wasn’t possible.”

Instead, Cocanougher settled for more stable building materials, then coating the outer structure with candy, courtesy of RB Golf Club and Resort Pastry chef Debbie Seymore.

Cocanougher said he’s done projects like this before, building displays for events at the Ritz Carlton and Saks Fifth Avenue, but usually those displays were built with the help of a team.

“Usually I had a team of people,” he said. “This time it was just me and our pastry chef.”

The grand display features inlaid Christmas lights and even a lit Christmas tree inside the merry manor.

The club hosts a bevy of holiday events starting with the Christmas Market Dec. 8, where vendors and crafters alike will show off and sell their hand-crafted items, then the Jingle Bell Ball Dec. 15, which benefits the Wise Area Relief Mission.

Both events are open to the public. And the Candy Castle will be on display in the foyer at RB Golf Club & Resort through Jan. 6.

“Don’t forget to peek inside the windows to see the magic inside the castle,” Seymore said in a press release.

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