EDMONTON (CITYNEWS) – Fans of Harry Potter will be able to see a to-scale Hogwarts Castle in Edmonton–made entirely of gingerbread.
This 1 to 100 replica on display at Duchess Bake Shop on 124 Street was based on the castle in London where the third installment, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, was shot, according to its creators. The masterpiece is a result of the efforts of designer and architect Garner Beggs and decorator Kelsey Johnson.
“We started the design process back in August and it took a long time to figure it out,” he told CityNews. “It took many, many, many, many hours of baking gingerbread, cutting it out. And then Kelsey spent many, many hours piping and decorating and getting it all done.”
He says “several hundreds of hours” were spent perfecting the structure–he even had enough time to listen to all the Harry Potter audio books and them some additional podcasts. This is the fourth project the pair took on, but this one stands apart from previous ones as it’s actually part of a fundraiser.
Here's the #gingerbreadhouse to beat this year!
This #Hogwarts took hundreds of hours to make, and is all edible.
— Carly Robinson (@CarlyDRobinson) November 17, 2018
When you zoom over on your Nimbus200 too see the castle, you’re asked to bring a donation of new socks or underwear for the Bissell Centre.
“This time of year there’s a really big need for fresh, clean socks. Personally, I love putting on a nice, new pair of socks in the morning and I think a lot of us take that for granted. But if you get your socks wet and if you don’t have anywhere to go warm up and you don’t have a new pair of socks to put on or you don’t have money to go do laundry, it’s a really awful thing to trudge around all day in old socks.”
Not only is there a need for socks, but it also fits with the Harry Potter theme. Fans will likely remember the moment at the end of the second episode (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) where Harry gifts house-elf Dobby a sock, effectively setting him free of his master family the Malfoys.
If you bring a donation to the bakery, you will be entered in a draw to “become Voldemort” and destroy the castle at the end of the drive.
“I’d love to see over 1,000 socks donated to the Bissell Centre this year. I think that would be tremendous.”
Johnson says it’s satisfying to see it all come together. “There are new things to look at each different step you take around the table. You see new faces and new facets…I’m a Harry Potter nerd so I was like, ‘we need to have all the house represented with coloured tiles and we need to have the bridge and lanterns going down to the boat area and the greenhouses,'” she said.
WATCH: Beggs and Johnson talk about their creation
She says there are lots of easter eggs for other Harry Potter fans to find in the castle. Beggs says the project didn’t come without challenges–the biggest ones being the tower, which he had to build in three separate parts and then glue together with sugar glue, and then the trestle bridge.
“I may have dropped [it] after I built the first one and that one almost broke me. That was a hard day.” Sounds like Beggs could’ve used Hermoine’s Time Turner that day.
The duo also glued on the thousands of individual hand-died, hand-cut gum paste tiles, with the help of other bakery staff. If only there was a spell to help build the castle.
The castle will be on display until Jan. 13.
-with files from Carly Robinson