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Hotel pays homage to its destination’s roots showcasing a delectable, artful carousel

Sarasota (December 6, 2016) – The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota has made every child’s holiday dreams come true by debuting a life-size, fully functional gingerbread carousel made entirely of gingerbread circus animals. The five hand-painted figures displayed on this whimsical custom creation include a lion, giraffe, horse, a bejeweled elephant and a mouse aptly named Jingles. Together, this ark will go round and round non-stop in the hotel lobby throughout this year’s holiday season.

Sarasota’s rich circus heritage began in 1927, when two brother’s names John and Charles Ringling were convinced that Sarasota was prime for growth and the ideal place for the winter headquarters of the Ringling Bros and Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Ringling Brothers traveled all over the country finding new performers and creating different acts to keep the audiences entertained and the big top full. But Sarasota was always home, and today many retired circus performers continue to keep the history alive.  

“Sarasota is steeped in circus history and this is a visual reimagining,” says Executive Pastry Chef Lyndsy McDonald, the mastermind of the next-level sweet sculpture. “It was truly a treat to envision, craft and execute these delightful creatures. Each have their own personality.”

The life-size circus animals, made of fondant, are a downright study in pastry expertise with magical intricacy. An elephant boasts a jeweled crown and a horse is adorned with gilded, ornamental trappings. Meanwhile, Jingles the mouse will be part of the Open House festivities taking place Wednesday Dec. 7, where Santa will be storytelling The Adventures of Jingles the Mouse, and handing out miniature mice to those naughty and nice as part of the day’s scavenger hunt.

All told, the creatures required some heavy lifting: The project took 300 hours to make, using 180 pounds of sugar, 30 pounds of chocolate, 200 pounds of candy including lollipops, jelly beans, gumdrops, M&Ms, sour candies, peppermints, caramels, jawbreakers and gumballs, and 400 gingerbread pieces.

For more information about The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota please visit www.ritzcarlton/sarasota or call (941) 309-2000.