Staff Report

The public is invited to the seventh annual “Gingerbread Wonderland” benefit from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 7, at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, one of many events that are part of Los Olivos’ “Olde Fashioned Christmas.”

The free event displays dozens of hand-crafted gingerbread houses created by local schoolchildren, families, organizations and businesses.

Guests can vote for, and enter to win, their favorite gingerbread house creations using $1 raffle tickets available for purchase at the event, which is a fundraiser for Arts Outreach and the church’s preschool. 

According to event organizers, several messages from the North Pole have indicated that Santa Claus will be in the church’s common room from 4 to 8 p.m., providing a cozy place for kids to share their Christmas wishes with the jolly man and for parents to take their own pictures.

There also will be opportunities for children to create and decorate Christmas ornaments and crafts in the church courtyard. Diane Byington and her Solvang Conservatory students, accompanied by St. Mark’s music director Beverly Staples, will be providing seasonal music to enhance the merriment along with performances by Valley Glee.

For those who would enjoy some delicious food and beverages during Gingerbread Wonderland, the courtyard at St. Mark’s will have complimentary coffee and hot apple cider, as well as baked goods and food available for purchase.

Gingerbread Wonderland is a popular family-friendly gathering as part of long-time annual Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas festivities.

“We are so grateful for the community members of all ages who come out to support Arts Outreach and St. Mark’s Preschool. All these gingerbread designs make the Christmas spirit come vibrantly alive!,” said Yvonne Lowe, St. Mark’s Preschool director.

 “Once again, we are thrilled to host all these family-friendly activities for the entire community as well as visitors. This day is a wonderful way to welcome the Christmas season,” added The Rev. Dr. Randall Day, St. Mark’s Priest and Rector.

For more information on making a gingerbread house creation, participating in, supporting or attending 2019 Gingerbread Wonderland, contact Yvonne Lowe, St. Mark’s Preschool Director, at (805) 688-1815, or Sandie Mullin, Arts Outreach Executive Director, at (805) 688-9533 or visit

For complete details on all Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas activities, visit

For more information about the nonprofit preschool, which welcomes all children from 2 ½ years old to pre-kindergarten, contact Yvnne Lowe directly at (805) 688-1815 or