THE 26TH ANNUAL NATIONAL GINGERBREAD HOUSE COMPETITION CONCLUDES WITH PREMIER CULINARY TALENTS HONORED AT THE OMNI GROVE PARK INN
Asheville, N.C. (November 20, 2018) – Talented gingerbread artists coast-to-coast came together yesterday, Monday, Nov. 19, to showcase their intricate, tasty creations, while celebrating the 26th year of the National Gingerbread House Competition, hosted at The Omni Grove Park Inn. Across all categories, 195 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 2018 panel of adjudicators featured world-renowned pastry chefs, artists and media experts, including Mark Seaman, the master sugar artist for Barry Callebaut; Nadine Orenstein, curator of the department of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; head judge, Nicholas Lodge, author of over one dozen sugar art books and instructional DVDs; celebrity chef and author Carla Hall; and many others.
The 2018 winning entries in the categories of adult, teen, youth and child include:
Grand Prize Winner, Adult:
Julie and Michael Andreacola, Indian Trail, NC
Adult Second Place:
Catherine Beddall, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Adult Third Place:
Grier Rubeling, Cary, NC
Teen (13- to 17-year-olds) First Place:
Courtland High School German Club, Spotsylvania, VA
Teen Second Place:
Gabriella Arthur, Easley, SC
Teen Third Place:
Chloe Jennings, Purlear, NC
Youth (9- to 12-year-olds) First Place:
The Salty Sketeboarding Bears on Mars, Asheville, NC
Youth Second Place:
Carly and Katie Owens, Taylorsville, NC
Youth Third Place:
S’morals, Greenville, SC
Child (5- to 8-year-olds) First Place:
Cabarrus Charter Kids, China Grove, NC
Child Second Place:
David and Trenton Hodges, Asheville, NC
Child Third Place:
Addison Bennett, Rutherfordton, NC
In the spirit of the holidays, The Omni Grove Park Inn will be displaying all gingerbread designs from Sunday, Nov. 25 through Thursday, Jan. 4, 2019 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: United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County; American Legion Baseball Post #70; Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County; Asheville City Schools Foundation; Homeward Bound; Horizons at CDS; Buncombe Partnership for Children and Camp Watia Camper Scholarship Fund. Since 2013, The Omni Grove Park Inn has contributed over $340,000 through the Holiday Parking Program, supporting the local community and not-for-profit partners in western North Carolina.
Travelers interested in viewing the hundreds of show-stopping holiday designs and planning a festive retreat can book the Gingerbread Holiday Package for stays through Sunday, Dec. 30. Starting at $301 per night, the package includes luxurious accommodations, the Art of Breakfast buffet in the Blue Ridge Restaurant per registered guest, one gingerbread cookie per registered guest and overnight valet or self parking (one vehicle per room). Guests can also pay it forward this season via Omni Hotels & Resorts' “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, which includes a donation to MANNA FoodBank for every stay at the resort. To reach the Gingerbread Hotline for the latest on all things gingerbread, call (800) 413-5778.
To view high-resolution images of the complete list of winning gingerbread displays, visit here. In addition, b-roll from the event will be available by request beginning Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018. Video footage from last year's competition is available here. For more information or to make reservations, call (800) 438-5800 or visit www.omnihotels.com/hotels/asheville-grove-park.
About The Omni Grove Park Inn
Set in the idyllic Blue Ridge Mountains and just minutes from downtown Asheville, N.C., The Omni Grove Park Inn provides a one-of-a-kind escape for modern day travelers. The award-winning, 513-room resort originally opened in 1913, showcases a wide range of Arts & Crafts furnishings from Stickley and Roycroft throughout guest areas, guestrooms and suites. Following the renovation of the Vanderbilt Wing in 2013, The Inn revealed the redesign of the historic Sammons Wing's 204 guestrooms in 2017. The world-class Spa is an experience like no other, with 43,000 square feet of subterranean space and an array of unique treatments incorporating indigenous elements. The resort's historic 18-hole Donald Ross golf course is considered among the top golf experiences in North Carolina, and the Sports Complex includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts. The Inn also focuses on local ingredients and chef driven menus in their four signature restaurants, each offering panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Omni Grove Park Inn is well suited for meetings, weddings and events, with 26 meeting rooms and two ballrooms totaling over 58,000 square feet, including the Skyline Room and Mountain View Terrace. The Inn's newest event addition is the Seely Pavilion with 3,260 square feet of function space, exposed trusses, and six pairs of picturesque, floor-to-ceiling doors and windows, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding mountain range. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.
About Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business and leisure destinations across North America. With more than 25 iconic golf courses and 16 award-winning spas featured in dynamic locales nationwide, every Omni proudly opens its doors to share the true spirit of its destination. Reflected through local color, personalized service, unique wellness options, signature restaurants and creative culinary offerings, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every guest and a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program. As a founding member of the Global Hotel Alliance, Select Guest is further expanded through the DISCOVERY® loyalty program offering members additional global benefits. Omni is committed to reducing hunger and is on a mission through its Say Goodnight to Hunger initiative to provide millions of meals each year for food banks to feed children, families and seniors in communities in which it operates. Omni Hotels & Resorts is the official hotel of the PGA TOUR and PGA TOUR Champions. For information or to book accommodations, visit omnihotels.com or call 1-800-The-Omni.