On Monday, Nov. 17, a full house of spectators and anxious competitors gathered for the awards ceremony of the 22nd Annual Gingerbread House Competition at The Omni Grove Park Inn. More than 150 entries were evaluated throughout the day by a panel of elite judges, including award-winning chef, Cheryl Forberg, curator from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Nadine Orenstein, author of “Making Great Gingerbread Houses,” Aaron Morgan, and others.
Entries were judged on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme. Except for the base, the construction of the house had to be entirely edible and consist of 75 percent gingerbread. A beloved holiday tradition at The Omni Grove Park Inn since 1992, this year’s competitors vied for over $20,000 in cash and prizes in four categories: Adult, Teen, Youth and Child, with the Adult Grand Prize Winner taking home a prize valued at more than $7,500.
Winners of this year’s National Gingerbread House Competition are:
Grand Prize Winner – Adult: Anne B. Bailey from Cary, N.C. Adult Second Place: Glenda J. Tant from Lebanon, Tenn.
Adult Third Place: Barbara Evans and Mary Jo Dowling from Edelstein, Ill.
￼Teen (13 to 17-year-olds) First Place: Courtland High School German Club from Spotsville, Va.
Teen Second Place: Emily K. Spafford from Maryville, Tenn. Teen Third Place: Audrey E. Anderson from Greenback, Tenn.
Youth (9 to 12-year-olds) First Place: Chloe Grace Jennings and Allie Church from Pulear, N.C.
Youth Second Place: Lucas A. Clark from Suwanee, Ga. Youth Third Place: Elise Sagaribay from Asheville, N.C.
Child (5 to 8-year-olds) First Place: SaraBeth Robinson from Palmyra, Va. Child Second Place: Oakbrook Preparatory School’s 2nd Grade Class from
Child Third Place: Briley F. Ervin from Greenback, Tenn.
￼￼All entries from The National Gingerbread Competition will be on public display at The Omni Grove Park Inn from Nov. 19, 2014- Jan. 1, 2015.There is no fee to view the display; however there is a holiday parking charge of $10 per vehicle with part of the proceeds benefiting six local non-profit organizations – Eliada Foster Care, Asheville City Schools Foundation, American Legion Baseball Post #70, Homeward Bound, Council on Aging of Buncombe County and Children First/Communities in Schools. Visitors can get into the holiday spirit by booking the resort’s Gingerbread Built Inn Package, inclusive of luxurious accommodations, daily breakfast in Blue Ridge Dining Room, parking and a signature gingerbread cookie per guest. To learn more about The Omni Grove Park Inn and the National Gingerbread House Competition visit omnihotels.com/grovepark or call (800) 559- 3984. Rates for the Gingerbread Built Inn Package start at $372 per night.
Check out this photo gallery of these amazing gingerbread creations: