2015-11-25 / Around Town

Largest Gingerbread Lighthouse


Newporter Scott Emond places a donation in the Salvation Army kettle and shares a smile with Carmen Critz. (Photo by Jack Kelly) Newporter Scott Emond places a donation in the Salvation Army kettle and shares a smile with Carmen Critz. (Photo by Jack Kelly) New England is home to several famous lighthouses, but none are as appetizing as one in the City by the Sea this holiday season. After more than 100 hours of baking, building and decorating, Newport Marriott chefs finished the largest gingerbread lighthouse in New England.

“This is my 15th year doing the lighthouse,” said Marriott executive chef Eric Steinhauer. “We do it to help get the community into the holiday spirit.”

The working lighthouse, which is on display at the Newport Visitor's Center, located at 23 America’s Cup Ave., stands 16 feet tall and includes 350 pounds of gluten free, organic gingerbread, 2,400 (1,600 bricks) pieces of candy and giant lollipops and 20 gallons of royal icing.

After last year’s renovations to the Marriott, the hotel ceiling is too low for the exhibit so it was moved to the Visitor’s Center.


Executive chef Eric Steinhauer with Imelda Johnson, pastry specialist. (Photo by Jack Kelly) Executive chef Eric Steinhauer with Imelda Johnson, pastry specialist. (Photo by Jack Kelly) “We do it for two reasons,” said Steinhauer. “One is for the kids, and the other is to stock the local food pantries. We encourage visitors to bring a non-perishable food item if they stop by.”

This year, Steinhauer used gluten free flour to help raise awareness for celiac disease. “It’s really become a big issue for many people,” said the chef.

The lighthouse will be available daily, free of charge to the public from Friday, Nov. 27, until Jan. 1. Hours are: Saturday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The North Pole sent word that Santa and Mrs. Claus are scheduled to visit on Friday, Dec. 4, from 1 to 5 p.m. All visitors are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to fill a sleigh for local food pantries. Complimentary parking is available in the garage at the Visitor's Center. – Olga Enger

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