After Hours

2016: SWEETSCAPE

This year’s creative confections featured a 1930s era urban streetscape in 3/4″ scale, which allowed for detailed interior settings in addition to the typical candy construction facades. The display was created entirely by volunteers made up of RLPS staff, families and friends over approximately two weeks of evenings and weekends starting the day after Thanksgiving and wrapping up during the first week in December. New for 2016, we had an optional food drive for those who wished to participate. Thank you to past attendees who suggested this idea. All non-perishable food brought to our open houses was donated to Water Street Mission in Lancaster.

2015: Adiron-DECK the Halls

The 2015 display was loosely modeled after a traditional upstate New York Adirondack mountain town with an old-fashioned grand lodge resort. The twist for this display was that in lieu of gingerbread, our primary building material was pretzels! We used over 30 unique pretzel shapes on various parts of the display. Other edible construction materials included 120 sheets of gingerbread and 40 gallons of icing produced by the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, as well as 20 pounds of rock candy, 15 pounds of salt, and 50 pounds of miscellaneous colored candies! Another important “building material” was 10-plus pounds of fondant which was used to mold a variety of objects, animals and people populating our Adirondack village, camp, and lodge.

The annual tradition, which began in 1988, involves employees, family, and friends who volunteer for hours of creative confectionery construction. Beginning just before Thanksgiving, participants spent many evenings and weekends pulling everything together in time for our client party in early December.

2014: Frozen in Time

The twist for this milestone display was that in lieu of gingerbread, our primary building material was Charms, a clear candy made by the Tootsie Roll company. This year’s display utilizes 14,000 Charms and 2,200 clear candy “bricks” produced by the Lancaster County Career and Technology Center, along with 100 pounds of rock candy, 55 gallons of icing and 40 pounds of miscellaneous colored candies! Another important “building material” was 10 plus pounds of fondant which was used to mold a variety of objects, animals and people populating our frozen village. Loosely modeled after Disney’s hit movie, Frozen, this year’s display focused on glowing lights and ice crystals in celebration of our firm’s 60th anniversary diamond jubilee. The annual tradition, which began in 1988, involves employees, family and friends who volunteer for hours of creative confectionary construction. Beginning just before Thanksgiving, participants spent many evenings and week-ends pulling everything together in time for our client party in early December.

2012: Jolly Olde London Towne

Since 1988, RLPS employees have created an elaborate gingerbread display. Planning begins in October and culminates with the unveiling in early December. Employees, friends, and family members all join in to help create this magical display that brings out the child in each of us.

The 2012 display continues this tradition – harkening back to 18th century London straight out of a Charles Dickens novel. Cobblestone streets paved with thousands of black beans lead you through a bustling metropolis full of gingerbread shops towards the sugar River Thames complete with the London Bridge and Big Ben. Graham cracker sidewalks are full of fondant Londoners – a baker displaying her wares, a barber ready for his next customer, nannies looking for work, a dog walker, horse-drawn carriages, and even an elephant raiding crates outside the East Indies Trading Company. Shoppers enjoy a chewing-gum clad Harrods department store and there are plenty of pubs to take a break and grab a meal while preparing for the holidays. A magic shop (with rabbits multiplying all over town!), train station, fish monger, newspaper print shop and more are all waiting to be discovered in this highly detailed candy, cracker, pasta, and gingerbread creation.

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography

2011: Santa Bell Beach

Creative confections are always part of the holiday season at RLPS Architects, and the 2011 creative twist gave new meaning to “chillin’ at the beach.” Masses of snowmen enjoyed a frosty beach holiday at a graham cracker boardwalk and midway pier with an eclectic collection of gingerbread shops and sand-colored sugar shores bustling with activity, including a group of “Occupy Boardwalk” snowmen. Drawing from visions of summer boardwalk scenes, employees, their families and friends spent hours constructing gingerbread, candy, crackers and pasta into pizza shops, souvenir stores and even a tattoo parlor. The lively shore featured snowmen enjoying the beach and boardwalk with a rooftop miniature golf course, beach volleyball and a moving carousel and Ferris wheel.

Photo Credit: Larry Lefever Photography