GWA Gingerbread

George Walton Academy held its Gingerbread Christmas festivities last Sunday, Dec. 4, on campus for one and all. Top, parents and childrend wait in line to see Santa Claus and tell them their Christmas lists. Above, families roast marshmallows at the various fires set up in the campus quad. Cheyenne Tolleson | The Walton Tribune

Just like clockwork, George Walton Academy hosted its fifth, annual Gingerbread Christmas event on Dec. 4. Its festivities went on from 4-7 p.m., and it was open to all of the public and their families. 

GWA administration and students alike took on various tasks throughout the evening to keep up the Christmas spirit for their guests. 

Members of the band took turns rotating through different areas of campus to perform timeless Christmas songs; several academic groups set up and ran a s’mores fire station; and the lunchroom stayed swarming with guests participating in the crafting table stations.

While there was this free floor plan for wandering about the different activities, the evening did follow a certain flow of scheduled festivities.

GWA Director of Admissions Cari Bailey broke down the event’s lineup for the night. 

“It kicks off with a parade in the center of campus, and then Santa heads over to his spot in the courtyard where he is available for photographs,” Bailey said. “The activities go on from 4-6 p.m. [Then,] we do a quick, little tree lighting and Christmas devotional at the end.”

However, GWA does welcome another organization aboard for the finale of the evening. 

“At 6 p.m., in our Nicholson Center, there is a program put on by JH Outback of Atlanta, and it’s called Comedy and Carols. That will go on from 6-7 p.m. tonight,” explained Bailey.

However, all of this is just skimming the surface of what the school is wanting to achieve by hosting such an event. 

“We would really like to grow it and be even more of a Christmas market too. We want it to feel like a festival,” said Bailey. 

But, even at the scale it is at just this year, eagerness from their guests hardly gets seen on a small scale. 

“We’ve done all the crafts, and all of the activities in the cafeteria. We went and saw the door decorating. We got our face painted, made some reindeer food mix, and are now enjoying the band,” explained Evan Hovis, mother of a GWA kindergarten student.

“I would say our favorite part ,out of all of it, has been the face painting. [My daughter] got a candy cane with some sparkles painted on,” continued Hovis.

Some of the older students of GWA were also drawn to the competition of the day. Amherst Tate and his friend Kiara decided to try and take down the reigning champ of the annual gingerbread house competition. 

“We won the popular vote, but the judges liked [our Latin teacher’s] more, unfortunately. But, it was a lot of fun. I’m not even mad we lost — everyone is enjoying it,” explained Tate. 

“This was our first year, but me and her talked about it. We’re gonna try again next year to beat our Latin teacher,” he went on to say. 

“This will be her fifth year winning, and we need to put an end to that.”

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