Warm up your ovens, uncork that molasses, and find a baker with an eye for architecture. It’s time for the Gingerbread House Competition—a new, tasty way to raise money for Athens nonprofits, brought to you by the Athens Gingerbread Guild. This year’s entrance fees will benefit the Athens Land Trust’s Young Urban Builders, who work on construction and rehabilitation projects in the West Broad area.
Participants—individuals or teams—will create gingerbread houses that conform to specifications set by members of the guild, who have modeled the competition after a long-standing one at Asheville, NC’s Grove Park Inn. Every entry must be placed on a board, and can’t be bigger than 36-by-36-by-36 inches or weigh more than 50 pounds. All of the house, save for the display board and any decorations on it, must be edible.
Early registration costs $25 and runs through Monday, Nov. 26. After that date, it’s $30 until the Dec. 1 deadline. Entrants must deliver their houses to the former site of Artini’s, 296 W. Broad St., Dec. 5–6. The site will be open for viewing Dec. 6–9.
Winners will be announced at the Sugar Shindig Dec. 7 at Little Kings Shuffle Club. Beginning at 8 p.m. and until 11 p.m., organizers suggest patrons pay a $5 entrance fee to enjoy dancing, karaoke and food.
On Dec. 8, there’s a Gingerbread House Junior Youth Decorating event from 10 a.m. until noon at 296 W. Broad St. Kids 14 and younger will decorate kits of pre-assembled gingerbread houses. Donations will be accepted.
The gingerbread house competition is the brainchild of local baker Johanna Nicol. She floated the idea of a bake-off, and four friends liked the idea enough to form a guild. They are Shaye Gambrell Matheny, Rose Harris, Amanda Knisely and Christine Mallozzi. According to their website, “We’re aiming to make Athens just a little sweeter!”