St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church and Preschool and the non-profit Arts Outreach invite the public to attend the fourth annual “Gingerbread Wonderland” event to be held at St. Mark’s located at 2901 Nojoqui Avenue in downtown Los Olivos from 4 – 8 p.m. on Saturday, December 3. The church’s Stacy Hall will be transformed into a Gingerbread Wonderland featuring more than 100 handmade gingerbread houses on display crafted by local schoolchildren, families and businesses.  With $1 raffle tickets available for purchase at the event, guests can vote for and enter to win their favorite gingerbread house creations.  All proceeds benefit Arts Outreach and St. Mark’s Preschool.

“We are thrilled to host these family-friendly activities for the community as part of the Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas this year. This day is a wonderful way to celebrate the season,” said  Yvonne Lowe, St. Mark’s Preschool director.

“All these gingerbread houses really embrace the Christmas spirit! We are so grateful for the community who come out to support Arts Outreach and St. Mark’s Preschool,” she added.

A message from the North Pole received at St. Mark’s indicates that Santa Claus will be visiting in the church parlor, providing a cozy place for kids to share their Christmas wishes with the jolly man. 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. In the church courtyard, there will be opportunities for children to create and decorate Christmas ornaments and prepare an angel halo for the 5:45 p.m. procession leading to the Los Olivos Christmas Tree lighting at the flagpole just one block away.

Now in its fourth year, Gingerbread Wonderland is a popular family-friendly gathering as part of annual Los Olivos Olde Fashioned Christmas festivities. Over 100 houses are expected to be on display this year; with an anticipated 60 houses decorated by student artists from Ballard School, The Family School, Los Olivos School, Oak Valley School, Santa Ynez Charter School, Santa Ynez School, Santa Ynez Valley Christian Academy and Solvang School.

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

Additional activities of Olde Fashioned Christmas include local craft people and artisans showing their creations for sale at the Artists Bazaar, located nearby at the Los Olivos Grange Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Avenue from Noon-7:00 p.m. For complete details on all December 3, 2016, festivities, visit

For more information on participating in, supporting or attending 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.