On December 7, 2022 New Towners gathered in Legacy Hall to kick off the holiday season at our Holiday Bake-Off and Dessert Fest. A brightly decorated Christmas tree and tables with holiday center pieces on red or white tablecloths helped create a festive atmosphere. The first part of the event was a juried baking contest with two categories: 1) cookies and bars; and 2) cakes and cupcakes. Sixteen New Town bakers participated, including two children. Six New Town residents happily served as judges, three people for each category, including one delighted young teen.
About 80 attendees of all ages cheered the judging and applauded the winners, Kathy and Brian Griffith for an impressive chocolate cake with port-soaked cherries and Jenny Bragdon for delicious smoky salted chocolate toffee. The Griffiths and Jenny Bragdon were awarded with fifty-dollar gift certificates compliments of the New Town Commercial Association.
The second part of the event was the Dessert Fest during which attendees filled their plates from two long tables covered with samples from the Bake-Off’s submissions, including Sue Langston-Ames’s second place, Charlie Brown Christmas carrot cupcakes, and Lance Scifres’s third-place, lemon-blueberry layered pound cake, as well as Trace Waible’s second-place salted caramel bars, and Liam Licastro’s huge monster cookies. Liam was one of the contest’s two young bakers. In addition to the delicious Bake-Off’s submissions, participants also enjoyed coffee and tea and an array of other desserts from local bakeries compliments of the New Town Residential Association.
Residents commented about how pleased they were to return to Legacy Hall for a holiday event and to catch up with old friends. Lynn Dorsey observed that “It was lovely – nicely set up and a good chance to meet new people.” For Anne Mapp, it was a “great opportunity to meet my neighbors,” and twelve-year old judge, Chloe Mapp chimed in “Being a judge never tasted so good.” Another couple with a baby, who recently moved to New Town, characterized the event as “very welcoming to new residents,” and with smiles on their faces observed that the food was “awesome!”