The Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission is inviting all of Charleston and beyond to be part of a beloved Lowcountry tradition – the Holiday Festival of Lights Gingerbread House Competition!
Warm up those ovens, gather up the sugar, the spices, and add a spoonful of creativity to the mix! Registration for the 12th Annual Holiday Festival of Lights Gingerbread House Competition is open now through November 5.
Houses must be made entirely of edible materials (except the base), and cannot exceed 18” in width, length or height. Entries will be judged based on creativity, overall appearance, difficulty, and craftsmanship.
Houses can be entered in one of four different age categories – ages 6 and under, ages 7-11, ages 12-16 or ages 17 and up. The contest will be judged by a panel of 20 people, with each house judged individually in each category. The top three entries in each category will be displayed in Santa’s Sweet Shoppe and other locations during the Holiday Festival of Lights.
Contest coordinator Marianne Bower encourages gingerbread house makers of all ages and experience levels to try their hand at creating a masterpiece. She encourages the use of gingerbread house patterns to assist with construction, but not “all-in-one” kits. “There are many websites out there that provide inspiration for unique and amazing creations,” said Bower. Entries must be actual “domiciles;” however, Bower says that she has seen a number of unusual gingerbread houses, including churches, trains, and once, even the Millennium Falcon from “Star Wars.”
Registration ends Friday, November 5. An award ceremony for the top winners will take place at the Park Center at James Island County Park as part of the opening of the annual Holiday Festival of Lights on November 12. The award ceremony will take place at 6:30 p.m. The Holiday Festival of Lights will be open November 12, 2010 – January 2, 2011 at James Island County Park.