The 25th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition

Last week I skipped the Tabletop Letters post. I had family in town and didn’t manage to play any games before (or since). I don’t think they’re game people!

We did, however, go to the 25th annual National Gingerbread House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn. I’ve enjoyed the competition for years. It kinda doesn’t feel like Christmas without it, so I don’t know what we’ll do when we move away!

This judged sugar art competition has the criteria that the submission must be entirely edible. Keeping that in mind, the submissions are incredible. Most of them are from the surrounding areas of NC and SC, but some are submitted from considerable distances – Florida, Texas, and even Canada!

There were many different types of gingerbread houses and varying skill levels with entries from children and adults.

Here are just a few of my favorites:

Bonsai gingerbread.

Wherein the witch from Hansel and Gretel has her comeuppance.
Another angle where we see a building inspector finds the gingerbread house is not up to code.
On this side we see a tax collector and social services discuss what to do about the witch.
In this last shot, the witch sits on the roof examining bones (human?). Maybe they should call the police instead!

A gingerbread pagoda.

Reindeer playing poker – a gingerbread take on the famous painting.

A dragon and beautiful lady. I don’t know what the story was, but it was exquisite.

A trolley tour in gingerbread.

This is the actual Grove Park Inn, made of gorgeous stacked stone. I don’t recommend trying to eat it.

A sunset view from the inn.

The Grove Park Inn was designed by an amateur architect, Fred Seely and completed in 1913. The hallways are lined this time of year with incredible Christmas trees decked with different themes. The winners of the contest are featured for “Good Morning, America“.

This contest is about as Christmassy as you can get. I say each year that I’d like to enter it myself, but alas … my sugar art is quite lacking. After watching “Zumbo’s Just Deserts” I’ve thought about using isomalt or some molecular gastronomy techniques to improve my game. Maybe one day.


What’s a holiday tradition that you have or would like to start?


Correction: Originally I had stated that the architect for the Grove Park Inn was the same as the Biltmore Estate. I believe someone told me this a while back, but it’s incorrect. The architect for the Biltmore Estate was Richard Morris Hunt.

7 Comments Add yours

  1. alicegristle says:

    That’s some funky sugar art all right! Although I’ve gotta say, they don’t really give off the vibe that they’d be good to eat… but I guess that’s not the point, either. 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah! There was one house that seemed to be mostly gum and Rice Krispies.
      One year there was a massive cake cut so you could see the middle with a house on top. The cake looked great, but I’m sure after weeks of sitting out it would have been yucky and dry despite how good it looked!

      Like

      1. alicegristle says:

        Eww. 😀 I wonder how much of that beautiful gingerbread just ends up in the garbage can? Then again, I’m sure kids will jump at the chance of eating a super fancy gingerbread house…

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I bet a lot of it goes uneaten. It’s really a shame. One year as a kid we made a gingerbread house and we nibbles on it for weeks. The gumdrops were the first to go!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. K E Garland says:

    Wow. These are very intricate.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yeah! I wish I had those skills! My frosting looks like a kindergartner made it.

      Liked by 1 person

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