Following last year’s edition when it was forced to go virtual in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual National Gingerbread Competition returned to The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina in 2021 for its 29th edition with a hybrid model that combines elements of virtual and in-person.
For the first time in two years, gingerbread artists of all ages and skillsets came together to showcase their one-of-a-kind creations. More than 120 entries of over-the-top gingerbread designs – across all categories – were submitted from around the country, for an opportunity to win a piece of $25,000 in cash and prizes.
A star-studded panel of judges, consisting of renowned food, arts and media professionals, evaluated each creation based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme, with each entry required to be 75 percent gingerbread and 100 percent edible.
In a new way of celebrating this year, the National Gingerbread House Competition winners will be announced on social media, one per day, with the Grand Prize Winner being revealed on December 12 for National Gingerbread House Day via Facebook and Instagram.
The winners and the grand prize include:
- Grand Prize Winner, Adult: The Merry Mischief Bakers, “Christmas ‘Round the World” – Phoenix, AZ
- Adult Second Place: Grier Rubeling, “Gingerbread Nutcrackers” – Cary, NC
- Adult Third Place: Bill & Cheryl Filion, “A Spin on Christmas” – Medina, OH
- Teen (ages 13-17) First Place: Courtland High German Program, “Elves After Hours” – Spotsylvania, VA
- Teen Second Place: Emma Rhinehart, “Santa’s Study” – Columbia, TN
- Teen Third Place: Abigail Woerner, “Holly Jolly Christmas” – Concord, NC
- Youth (ages 9-12) First Place: Lolajay Wilson, “Picture Perfect Holiday” – Asheville, NC
- Youth Second Place: Emmalyn Frost, “Upside Christmas” – Knoxville, TN
- Youth Third Place: Alana Armenti, “Winter Wonder Wheel” – Simpsonville, SC
- Child (ages 5-8) First Place: Parker Webster, “Zoom with Santa” – Greenville, SC
- Child Second Place: Glitter Girls, “Santa & Friends Christmas Pets” – Blue Ridge, GA
- Child Third Place: BMP Smart Cookies, “December 26th” Black Mountain, NC
The Omni Grove Park Inn will be displaying all gingerbread creations through January 2, 2022 after 3 pm on Sundays and anytime Monday-Thursday to drive-on visitors. The display is open to in-house guests all days and hours.
Take a look at all of the winners here.