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Gingerbread House Competition perseveres through pandemic to celebrate the top culinary talent
Friday, 01 January 2021 14:11

From Staff Reports 

Winners of The 28th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition have finally been unveiled following The Omni Grove Park Inn’s decision to take the beloved holiday tradition virtual, according to an event press release dated Dec. 15.

Across all categories, nearly 100 entries of one-of-a-kind, over-the-top festive gingerbread designs were submitted from around the country as competitors hoped to win a piece of $25,000 in cash and prizes.

A combined virtual and in-person panel of judges, including top national culinary talent evaluated each confection based on strict guidelines including overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme, with each entry required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread. Returning judge and renowned celebrity chef, author and former television personality, Carla Hall along with judges Chef Geoff Blount, Chef Nicholas Lodge & Chef John Cook took their Gingerbread duties to the next level by joining the property’s new online cooking course, Baking Spirits Bright: Gingerbread Making Class Series.

The 2020 winning entries in the categories of adult, teen, youth and child were the follow:ing

Grand-Prize Winner, Adult: The Merry Mischief Bakers, “St. Nick’s Christmas Décor Shop” - Phoenix, Ariz.

Adult 2nd Place: Ann Bailey, “This Place Called Home” -  Cary, N.C.

Adult 3rd Place: Thomas Blake Hogan, “Sea Questered” - Kansas City, Mo.

Teen (ages 13-17) 1st Place: The Rhinehart Sisters, “Peace, Love, Joy” - Columbia, Tenn.

Teen 2nd Place: The Toccoa Titans, “Arctic Wonders” - Blue Ridge, Ga.

Teen 3rd Place: Julia Kincaid, “The Gingerbread Christmas Pyramid” - Winston Salem, N.C.

• Youth (ages 9-12) 1st Place: The Sugar Squad, “Santa Stop” - Marshall, NC

• Youth 2nd Place: Emma Rhinehart, “Merry Minions” - Columbia, Tenn.• Youth Third Place: Perry Reid, “Christmas…2020” - Travelers Rest, S.C.

• Child (ages 5-8) 1st Place:  The Glitter Girls, “A Mermaid Christmas” - Blue Ridge, Ga.

• Child 2nd Place: Vincent Freeland, “Jack is Back” - Conover, N.C.

• Child 3rd Place: Lucille Gomes, “Roughing It” - Asheville.

“While The Omni Grove Park Inn will be forgoing a public Gingerbread House display this year to prioritize the safety of its resort guests and local community, there are still plenty of ways for Gingerbread fans to stay involved!” a press release stated.



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