After the 2020 edition of the National Gingerbread House Competition was forced to go completely virtual for the first time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it returns in 2021 with a hybrid model that combines elements of virtual and in-person.

Gingerbread artists of all ages and skillsets are encouraged to enter the competition now until November 8, 2021 for a chance to win cash and prizes. A renowned group of food, arts and media professionals – including Food Network star Carla Hall – will formally judge the gingerbread designs both virtually and in-person.

Like last year, the competition will conduct the first round of judging virtually. This will enable documentation of the creation process, enhance the first round of the judging experience and ensure the competition will continue safely, even if unforeseen circumstances were to arise. It will give the judges a visual idea of the creation by showcasing a framework and different portions of the piece that highlight the story behind it, even if the final product is not yet completed.

The second round of judging will be done in-person at The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina. The hotel will once again display all entries for public viewing to celebrate the hard work and dedication that goes into the edible works of art. All entries will be reviewed in-person during the second round to ensure the integrity of the creation physically meets the criteria.

The hotel will continue its “The 12 Days of Gingerbread” tradition of releasing one of the Top 12 finalists each day on its Facebook and Instagram channels from December 1-12. The winning creations will be on display Sunday, November 28, 2021 to Sunday, January 2, 2022.

The Omni Grove Park Inn has released a Digital Gingerbread Tool Kit including tips and tricks on how entrants can digitally showcase their creations as well as the rules for entry.