Forced to go virtual in response to the coronavirus pandemic, the 28th annual National Gingerbread Competition persevered, adapting to difficult times to ensure the competition could continue for the 2020 holiday season.
The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, host of the National Gingerbread House Competition, took the event online without a public display of gingerbread houses at the historic hotel due to social distancing requirements surrounding the coronavirus. Instead of a physical display, the hotel had experiences including socially distanced alternatives for hotel guests and fans at-home to view the gingerbread house finalists.
Over several months, entrants could submit their gingerbread house creations. Gingerbread artists of all ages and skillsets entered the competition for a chance to win cash and prizes. A renowned group of food, arts and media professionals – including Food Network star Carla Hall – formally judged the gingerbread designs both virtually and in-person.
The winners and the grand prize, which were announced from December 1-12, include:
- Grand Prize Winner, Adult: The Merry Mischief Bakers, “St. Nick’s Christmas Décor Shop” - Phoenix, AZ
- Adult Second Place: Ann Bailey, “This Place Called Home” - Cary, NC
- Adult Third Place: Thomas Blake Hogan, “Sea Questered” - Kansas City, MO
- Teen (ages 13-17) First Place: The Rhinehart Sisters, “Peace, Love, Joy” - Columbia, TN
- Teen Second Place: The Toccoa Titans, “Arctic Wonders” - Blue Ridge, GA
- Teen Third Place: Julia Kincaid, “The Gingerbread Christmas Pyramid” - Winston Salem, NC
- Youth (ages 9-12) First Place: The Sugar Squad, “Santa Stop” - Marshall, NC
- Youth Second Place: Emma Rhinehart, “Merry Minions” - Columbia, TN
- Youth Third Place: Perry Reid, “Christmas…2020” - Travelers Rest, SC
- Child (ages 5-8) First Place: The Glitter Girls, “A Mermaid Christmas” - Blue Ridge, GA
- Child Second Place: Vincent Freeland, “Jack is Back” - Conover, NC
- Child Third Place: Lucille Gomes, “Roughing It” - Asheville, NC
Take a look at all of the winners in our latest slideshow.