The annual National Gingerbread House Competition at the Omni Grove Park Inn brings large numbers of entries each year. In its 30th year, the contest in Asheville had 219 entries this season. And, stakes increased with more than $40,000 available in cash and prizes. According to The Weekly, one of the entries came from the Indian Trail, North Carolina team of Michael and Julie Andreacola. The duo submitted “National Museum of Gingerbread,” winning the Most Innovative Structure award. The category was one of six new ones added this year. And, in keeping with tradition, the entries remain on display at The Omni Grove Park Inn until January 2. Registered hotel guests and customers with dining reservations may view them on Fridays and Saturdays. Others may view the display Mondays-Thursdays and Sundays after 6 p.m. except for holidays.
Plus, you can see a complete list of top winners here and learn more about the competition. The contest is billed as the largest gingerbread house competition in America. The number of entries this year was nearly twice last year’s 120. And, previous years offered prizes totaling $25,000. Celebrity Chef Carla Hall, recognized from her work on Food Network, also took part in judging. The competition requires entries to be completely edible, with at least 3/4 made of gingerbread. According to Food & Wine, the judges evaluate appearance, originality/creativity and other criteria. Other regional winners came from Raleigh, Cary, Montreat and Greenville, South Carolina.
It all began on a small scale in 1992 to celebrate the season. The original builders had no plans to continue, but these days the competition gets nationwide attention. And, that makes us proud that an Indian Trail, North Carolina team brought home some of that glory.
(picture above courtesy of Julie Huffman Wilson FB page)