From the ornate Chinatown gates to a revolving lighthouse with a sea serpent waiting to strike, this year’s Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Showcase is the biggest yet.

“It’s fabulous and it really puts you in the Christmas spirit,” says Tracy Wall, taking in the showcase.

There are 29 incredible creations on display — from fairies and a massive fox to Burt, Ernie and Big Bird at a Sesame Street scene.

Far from a typical gingerbread house, the intricate and edible works of art are all designed around this year’s theme of ‘building a diverse community.’

Volunteer amateur bakers and professional chefs spent countless hours designing, building and decorating the masterpieces.

“My wife entered last year so I know the amount of effort these people have to go through, some of these exhibits are hundreds of hours of work so it’s really amazing,” says Jason Aitchison.

For his wife, Tracy, it was a lot of work but something she’d wanted to do for several years.

“It was the first time I’d ever baked gingerbread so it was finding the right kind of structural gingerbread, the right stuff to glue it all together,” Tracy Aitchison explains. “But I would say the hardest part is actually the idea.”

This is the 11th year for the gingerbread showcase, which raises money for Habitat for Humanity Victoria to build homes for working families in need.

Admission is by donation and you can vote for your favourite in the people’s choice award.

The Habitat for Humanity Gingerbread Showcase is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Parkside Hotel & Spa in Victoria until January 5th.

Tess van Straaten