The first annual Gingerbread House Tour began in 2012 in St. George Utah and was organized by McArthur Jewelers, which later became Forever Young Fine Jewelers. Participating businesses in the downtown showcased uniquely crafted gingerbread houses. Then visitors could cast votes for their favorite house. The houses remained at the area businesses for a week and then at the Historic Downtown Christmas Celebration, the participating businesses included items or services to be auctioned together with the Gingerbread Houses and every penny earned would benefit the Children of Hope Academy, which helps mentally challenged individuals reach their full potential.
The years following this Gingerbread House Tour switched organizer's hands, eventually landing with the St. George Children’s Museum - and their goal was to keep it near the Main street shops to promote shopping local and supporting the arts. The money benefited the Children’s Museum.
Local resident Melissa Daams, heard about the Gingerbread House Tour and first participated in 2018 by bidding on one of the houses. She won it and it won her heart. She swore she would promote this event and be a cheerleader behind it. In 2019, she discovered that the Children's Museum would not be organizing it and she decided to make it happen. She founded the nonprofit St George Gingerbread House Parade so that it could have a constant dedicated person making it happen every year. Her goal is to create an idyllic family friendly hometown Christmas experience, promote small businesses and fund raise for a local organization.
Melissa Daams is a mover and a shaker! She is an artist, activist, influencer, community organizer, and liaison. Her confidence and outlook starts with creativity, market oriented adaptability, honesty, friendliness, taking initiative, and goal oriented decision making skills. She is not afraid to make the cold calls and knows how to network with the right people to get the job done.