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Keith Johnson, Deseret Morning News
Oak Canyon Junior High School students Sean Tanner, left, Madison Waters and Brooke Hodson build a Utah Jazz-themed gingerbread house.

LINDON — Ninth-graders at Oak Canyon Junior High in Lindon will be entering some pretty unique gingerbread houses in the annual Gingerbread House Festival, sponsored by local artist Eric Dowdle.

Brigham Facer, Madison Waters and Brooke Hodson have made an "All Jazz All the Time" house decorated in purple and blue Skittles candy.

Courtney Brown, Shelby McKell and Sean Tanner designed a lounge for Santa Claus that includes a satellite dish on the rooftop.

Meanwhile, Jennifer Nebeker, Rhett Nilson and Griffen McGinn built "Santa's Gift Shop" with a little pond out front made of melted Jolly Ranchers and small elf-shaped cookies for people.

Annie Davis, Trevor Harmon, Abi Heaps and Trevor Henderson took a more serious approach. Their house is dedicated to their friend, 14-year-old Tori Schmanski, who was trapped in a pond after the car she was in flipped last Father's Day and is making a long, slow journey back to recovery.

"We'll have everything that reminds us of her on our house," said Heaps.

The houses the students decorated will be part of the annual festival at Thanksgiving Point's Show Barn that will benefit the Boy Scouts of America and the Utah PTA Art Education Fund.

"The Gingerbread House Festival has brought smiles to tens of thousands over its four year history," said Dowdle, founder of the festival. "We are so thrilled to see sponsor and community support for such a great event that serves and protects Utah's children."

Friends and families are invited to enjoy two days of tasty treats, lively entertainment and an amazing display of gingerbread houses.

Entertainment groups include choirs from local elementary schools, jazz bands from the local high schools and harpists, cloggers and dancers from around the valley.

This year's festival will climax with a dance Saturday, Nov. 11, featuring '80s rock band Manage This.

This year's sponsors include XanGo, Altiris, Certiport, Deseret Morning News, Dowdle Folk Art, KOSY 106.5, KISN 97.1, KODJ 94.1, KCPX 105.7, Roberts Arts and Crafts, among others.

Preceding the event will be a gala dinner/auction celebration for sponsors with special guests Dale Murphy, comedian Johnny B, Dowdle, singer Jeff Hinton, classic pop/rock band LoveAsItWas and more. Interested sponsors may contact Mike at 801-437-6219 or [email protected].

If you go . . .

What: Gingerbread House Festival

Where: Thanksgiving Point Show Barn, Lehi (take Alpine/Highland exit)

When: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Nov. 11, 12

How much: $3 adults, $2 children, $10 per family; buy at the door or through Ticketmaster

Phone: 768-2300

Web: www.thanksgivingpoint.com

E-mail: [email protected]