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Monday, November 24, 2014

The National Gingerbread Contest


So last week I told you about my trip to the Grove Park Inn to see the entry based on my novel The Mailbox. And I promised I'd share photos from the event but it took me quite a bit longer than I'd anticipated because I came home to a computer that had decided to stop working.
 
But this weekend my tech-savvy husband came to the rescue and got it up and running again. And so, better late than never I say! Here are some photos from the event, which was so much fun. If you ever get the chance to travel to the Grove Park, do yourself a favor and go see the amazing displays of gingerbread talent. The entries will be on display throughout the hotel until early January. They really are something to see!
 
 
This is a view of the tables of entries in the huge ballroom where the winners were announced. It was all very top secret and exciting.
 
 
This is the official badge you had to have on to get into the ceremony. I was honored to wear it, considering I had absolutely nothing to do with creating the gingerbread sculptures!

 
This is the pair of talented ladies responsible for the mailbox entry standing in front of their hard work. Rachel Olsen and Katie Hicks are not only talented, they're also quite fun to spend a girls' getaway at the Grove Park with! We stayed up way too late and laughed a lot!


 
One side of the gingerbread sculpture, showing the "Kindred Spirit" sign. The list on the sand is someone's bucket list. You can see my novel on the bench with the covered impressively rendered.

 
Here's the front view. See the cute flip flops? Inside the mailbox is papers-- notes people have left to the Kindred Spirit.
 
This is all out of gingerbread and sugar, people! Amazing!
 
Here are a couple of entries I also especially liked, though I have to say all of them deserved to win. As Rachel Olsen kept saying, "We're winning!" (a la Charlie Sheen). And the truth is we were-- just getting to be there and be part of the festivities was unforgettable.
 
And no, we did not win. But that doesn't mean there aren't talks of possible entries for next year. (I have other Sunset Beach novels, after all...)
 

 
A carrousel complete with elaborate horses, all unique

 
This nativity scene?? Love!
 
 
 
Other than the mailbox, this was my favorite entry, based on The Lion, The Witch And the Wardrobe. The sign on the bottom says "Aslan is on the move." (Yes, he is.)
 
See the child peeking out of the wardrobe? And the lamppost?
 
 
Here's the back of the same entry. This one had amazing detail and I was (am still) dismayed it did not win. This is the book on the back with text from the novel. All around it  (not pictured) are little vignettes of each character.
 
 
And because this is a gingerbread contest, I thought I should feature at least one actual house. This one made me want to go inside and spend Christmas there.

 
And finally, here is the winner from last year. I don't have a photo of the one from this year because there were people swarming all around it. This one is in a display case and still looks impressive considering it is a year old-- and made out of edible materials.
 
Here's hopin we go back next year!

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2 comments:

Mary Lou said...

My mother-in-law lives about an hour away from the Grove Park, and she took our family to see the gingerbread houses several years ago. The line was looooooong, but it was worth the wait. My girls still talk about our visit. I can't imagine the skill and patience it takes to create these masterpieces.

Amy O'Quinn said...

Chad and I toured Grove Park Inn last month when we traveled about in western NC to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary (which was actually back in February). We hit Blowing Rock, Boone, and Asheville.I LOVED the Grove Park Inn and enjoyed seeing last year's gingerbread competition winner on display. Now, it's on my bucket list to see the Biltmore at Christmas and take in the Gingerbread competion at GPI! BTW, I was also in Charlotte a couple of weeks ago with my own sister for the Sweet Sister's Conference at FBC. Enjoyed Boo Mama and Big Mama and all the sights of your beautiful city! Then we headed to Wilmington to visit my girls, and took a side trip to Southport. Loved it there too! :) Take care and thanks for sharing all the great entry photos. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!