DAYTON — Calling all bakers and architects with a competitive edge: The Dayton Holiday Festival is looking for the area’s most creative confectionary decorators to compete in the 13th annual Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays contest on Friday, Nov. 23. Entries will be judged and displayed for public viewing inside the Old Courthouse at Third and Main streets downtown on that day only, during the Grande Illumination and Dayton Children’s Parade Spectacular in Lights from 4-9 p.m.
All ages and skill levels are invited to participate in this free contest by entering a gingerbread house in the child (12 and younger), teen (13-17), adult (18 and older) or professional category. Entry forms and a complete list of contest rules are available for download at www.daytonholidayfestival.org. Forms may be submitted to the Downtown Dayton Partnership at 10 W. Second St., Suite 611, Dayton, OH 45402 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Entry forms are due by Thursday, Nov. 15.
Traditional houses, replicas of buildings, a purchased kit or even cardboard entries are permitted — as long as all exposed surfaces are covered with edible materials. First place in each category will receive a prize package featuring a variety of items. Award ribbons also will be given to second and third place winners in each category. In addition, one amateur and one professional house will be selected as the “Best Houses on the Block,” and each will win a $500 cash prize.
“The entries get more creative each year,” said Sandra Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “The imagination and skill that goes into creating each of these gingerbread houses makes for a really special exhibit ― it’s always a fun part of our holiday season kickoff.”
Contest entries are to be delivered to the Old Courthouse between 10 a.m. and noon on Friday, Nov. 23. They will be judged from 1-2 p.m., and the winners will be notified by telephone. All contest winners will have the opportunity to be recognized on the Main Stage in Courthouse Square before the Grande Illumination tree-lighting ceremony at 7:45 p.m.
The Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays contest is supported by media sponsor B94.5 Hot Country, and the Downtown Priority Board. The contest is part of the month-long Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by Dayton Power & Light, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, City of Dayton, Montgomery County and the Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund. For more information on the contest and other activities that are part of the Dayton Holiday Festival, marking 46 years of kicking off the holiday season in the Dayton region, call 937-224-1518 or visit www.daytonholidayfestival.org.