How Smithville set a world record. The gingerbread man has symbolized Smithville’s annual Festival of Lights celebration for many years, but in 2006 one of the community baked a huge gingerbread cookie – in fact, the world’s biggest – to show the world that Smithville thinks big.
The gingerbread man, later named “Smitty,” became a reality on Dec. 2, 2006, at the 16th annual Festival of Lights celebration in Smithville, Texas. He weighed 1,308 lbs, 8 oz and measured 20 feet from head-to-toe. He consisted of 750 lbs of flour, 49 gallons of molasses, and 72 dozen eggs (separated!). He was baked over a dump truck load of charcoal before being raised by crane to an angle of 65 degrees in order to qualify for the Guinness World Record.
The staff at Guinness World Records officially recognized the feat in 2008, and included Smithville’s accomplishment in its 2009 edition (pg. 124). In honor of being officially named the World’s Biggest Gingerbread Man, the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Smithville retired the cookie sheet that was used to bake the giant gingerbread man and converted it into a monument to commemorate the record. The monument, which is painted exactly like the frosted cookie, was dedicated on December 6, 2008 at the 18th annual Festival of Lights celebration.
In 2009, the World Record was broken by the IKEA Corporation in Norway by a mere 90 pounds, but Smithvillians are still fairly content that the largest gingerbread man in the Western Hemisphere resides in this charming small town.
Use the QR code to post your Smitty picture directly on his Facebook page. Smitty is located in a small courtyard just east of the Smithville Area Chamber of Commerce, Visitors Center and Railroad Museum.