Welcome to The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition.
What began with a small number of gingerbread houses built by community members in 1992 has become one of the country’s most celebrated and competitive holiday events: The Omni Grove Park Inn National Gingerbread House Competition™.
Gingerbread’s sweet and wide-ranging history.
Gingerbread was first introduced to Europe in 992 by an Armenian monk, but wouldn’t become readily available to the continent as a whole until the 18th century. Not surprisingly, gingerbread is popular in a lot of cultures, and it comes in many forms ranging from a light spice cake to dense bread. It is the harder, German-style gingerbread that’s most commonly used to construct gingerbread houses.
Gingerbread houses date back to 16th century Germany, where the elaborately decorated cookie-walled houses first became associated with the Christmas tradition. Today, no other confection seems to symbolize the holidays quite like gingerbread in its many forms, including cookies, gingerbread men and spiced loaves.
The mother of all gingerbread house competitions.
As the event grew, so did the caliber of judges and competitors.
Today, the panel of judges represents nationally renowned food, arts and media professionals, while the level of competition has attracted the highest quality of design, artistry and pastry expertise. The competition has merited broadcast coverage by ABC’s Good Morning America, the Travel Channel, and the Food Network.
Entries are judged on five criteria: Overall Appearance, Originality & Creativity, Difficulty, Precision and Consistency of Theme. Except for the base, entries must be constructed of edible materials. The main structure must be at least 75% gingerbread, some of which should be exposed. Edible materials are not limited to candies and icings.
You’ll find most entries on display throughout the main lobby in both wings. To help you get around, just ask for a map at the information desk in the lobby. As you walk to the various display areas, you’ll also enjoy some of the 80 decorated trees in the historic, grand hotel.
Come for a good time, and for a good cause.
Since the Holiday Parking Program’s inception in 2013, Omni has been honored to contribute over $260,000 to nonprofit partners in Western North Carolina. A minimum $20 parking charge will be in effect for all drive-on guests (one charge per standard-sized vehicle, based on availability). In keeping with the program’s tradition, half of each parking charge collected will be returned to the community in support of various local nonprofits.
And the winners of the 25th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition are…
The gingerbread display has grown in more than just reputation; it has become a true family holiday tradition. From the very young to the very young at heart, the reaction to this magical experience is one of wonder, awe and delight.
This year’s competition saw a record number of entries, at over 170. Below are the winners whose entries will remain on display throughout the holidays, until January 4, 2018. So even if you missed the competition, you can still marvel at the incredible display of masterpieces.
Grand Prize Winner, Adult:
Ann Bailey, Cary, NC (pictured below)
Adult Second Place:
Glenda Tant, Lebanon, TN (pictured below)
Adult Third Place:
Beatriz Muller, Innisfil, Ontario, Canada (pictured below)
Teen (13- to 17-year-olds) First Place:
Gabriella Arthur, Easley, SC (pictured below)
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 (pictured below)
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 (pictured below)
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
Other details worth noting: For the sake of preserving the overall guest experience, The Omni Grove Park Inn invites guests not staying at the resort to view the display after 3:00 p.m. on Sundays or anytime Monday through Thursday, based on parking availability. Also, please note that only resort-registered pets will be permitted. No outside pets will be allowed.