Twenty-five gingerbread men have been frosted and decorated and now they're sprinkled across downtown Naperville.
These gingerbread figures are not cookies, but sculptures, sponsored by businesses for the Downtown Naperville Alliance's second holiday display.
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The sculptures were unveiled Friday after artists and students transformed them into a child in footie pajamas, a baseball player, an ice cream server, and even "Gingerbread George," a look-alike of Mayor George Pradel.
Once the decorated sculptures were revealed, online voting began at downtownnaperville.com/gingerbread to pick the winning design. Katie Wood, executive director of Downtown Naperville Alliance, said it's close, "but it's safe to say there are many gingerbreads in the race."
Among the front-runners are a yellow "minion" from the movie "Despicable Me" painted by Matt Hebel and sponsored by DMI Hotels; "Equinox" depicting fall and winter seasons painted by Laura Cavanaugh and sponsored by RiverWalk Family Dental; "Dinah Round," a plump gingerbread character holding a fork and knife by artist Alexa Simos and sponsored by Dine Naperville; and "Mr. Naperville," painted by students in the Metea Valley High School Honor Society for sponsor Naperville Magazine.
The winner will be chosen in mid-January, once sculptures are taken off the streets and voting concludes. Wood said each business that sponsored a sculpture can decide on its own whether to keep, donate or sell the gingerbread creations.