Talented gingerbread artists coast-to-coast recently came together to showcase their intricate, tasty creations, while celebrating the Silver Anniversary of the National Gingerbread House Competition, hosted at The Omni Grove Park Inn.
170 entries were received from culinary enthusiasts across North America vying for a chance to win their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes at the historic Blue Ridge Mountain retreat, which is gearing up for a festive holiday season.
A panel of highly regarded judges evaluated each creation based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme, with each entry required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread. The 2017 panel of adjudicators featured world-renowned pastry chefs, artists and media experts, including the founder of the International Sugar Art Collection, a curator of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the author of “Making Great Gingerbread Houses” and many others.
The 2017 winning entries in the categories of adult, teen, youth and child include:
Grand Prize Winner, Adult:
Ann Bailey, Cary, NC
Adult Second Place:
Glenda Tant, Lebanon, TN
Adult Third Place:
Beatriz Muller, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada
Teen (13- to 17-year-olds) First Place:
Gabriella Arthur, Easley, SC
Teen Second Place:
Courtland High School, German Program 4th and AP, Fredericksburg, VA
Teen Third Place:
Courtland High School, German Program 1st – 3rd, Fredericksburg, VA
Youth (9- to 12-year-olds) First Place:
Ms. Choi’s Class, Asheville, NC
Youth Second Place:
Foral and Smith Kids, Greenville, SC
Youth Third Place:
Gumdrop Girls, Sherrills Ford, NC
Child (5- to 8-year-olds) First Place:
Coble Adams, Raleigh, NC
Child Second Place:
Ms. May’s and Ms. Keena’s Kindergarten Class, Asheville, NC
Child Third Place:
Mrs. Leatherwood’s First Grade Class, Black Mountain, NC
In the spirit of the holidays, The Omni Grove Park Inn will be displaying all gingerbread designs from Sunday, Nov. 26 through Thursday, Jan. 4, 2018 to visitors on a complimentary basis. A $20 per car fee will be charged for all drive-in guests, with half of the parking proceeds going towards the following local nonprofit organizations: Asheville City Schools Foundation; American Legion Baseball Post #70; Homeward Bound; United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County; Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County; Asheville Museum of Science; and Children First/Communities in Schools. Since 2013, The Omni Grove Park Inn has donated more than $260,000 through the Holiday Parking Program, supporting the local community.
Travelers interested in viewing the hundreds of show-stopping holiday designs and planning a festive retreat can book the Gingerbread Holiday Bed & Breakfast Package for stays through Friday, Dec. 29. Starting at $301 per night, the package includes deluxe accommodations, the Art of Breakfast buffet in the Blue Ridge restaurant per registered guest, one gingerbread cookie per registered guest and overnight valet or garage parking (one vehicle per room). Guests can also pay it forward this season via Omni Hotels & Resorts’ “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, which provides dinner for a family of four for every booking made online at OmniHotels.com.
View the winning entries from the Silver Anniversary of the National Gingerbread House Competition at Flickr.com
For more information or to make reservations, call 1-800-438-5800 or visit OmniHotels.com.
(Photography by Taylor Engert, via Business Wire and The Omni Grove Park Inn.)