SPARTA, Mich. -- Every town has its own way of spreading holiday cheer. In Sparta, it's with community made gingerbread men.
The decorations have only been out for about a week, but residents are concerned because they believe one has been stolen.
Hal VanderVoord, with Sparta Moose Lodge, said one of the three gingerbread men the store bought to take part in the town's holiday decorations disappeared over the weekend.
"It is a Grinch-like thing, that someone would actually steal the gingerbread guy," said VanderVoord. "There’s rumors that he went bar hopping, we don’t know that, all we want is our gingerbread guy back.”
The idea of the gingerbread men comes from Sparta's Chamber of Commerce. They sell them to local businesses and residents, getting everyone in the holiday spirit.
“When we look at other communities who are embracing a very traditional look and doing it very well, we just decided to be our own Sparta and try something different. It may appear to push the boundaries but it’s fun and the kids seem to love it,” said Rebecca Wildeboer, Sparta Chamber of Commerce.
Wildeboer said the community is sad to see the missing gingerbread man gone from where it was last seen outside of Sparta Eagles. She said the people with Sparta Moose Lodge put a lot of effort into it to show off to the community.
"What we want the community to know is we are taking their ownership of their community seriously.. we’re asking them to help participate, then we also want them to know we are very supportive and serious about people being respectful to the things the public is helping them produce."
VanderVoord said whoever knows where the gingerbread man is, please bring him back.
"Somebody’s going to be feeling very guilty about taking that, and no questions asked, just bring him back to us. [It] can be anonymous, no charges, we just want gingerbread guy back.”
If you have any information regarding the missing gingerbread, contact Sparta's Chamber of Commerce at 616-887-2454.