ANCHORAGE - An entire village built by just one man: All it took was a lot of gingerbread, frosting, and time.
Welcome to Marina's Village. It’s a winter wonderland, full of cheery friends and neighbors busy shopping at the markets and playing in the snow.
Joe Hickel is the man behind it.
Hickel is a pastry chef at the Captain Cook Hotel. This time of year he spends a better part of his days in the hotel lobby, building not just a gingerbread house, but a gingerbread city.
Every house is part of a story.
Many of the stories here are personal, with storefronts named after close friends and family.
“I get to create a place I'd like to live in; this would be a cool place to visit,” Hickel said.
Hickel said he spent 200 hours in the kitchen creating building and it took over 100 to put it all together.
He admits he'd be done a lot sooner if he didn't spend so much time giving tours to hundreds of curious guests.
The tall mountains, happy smiles, and 800 pounds of frosting make this one of the sweetest villages you're likely to visit this holiday season.
If you want to check out marina's village, it is on display at the Captain Cook Hotel lobby. Hickel said he is ahead of schedule and should be done with the project before the weekend.