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Baking Spirits Bright: Public Invited to Submit Entries for Gingerbread House Competition
10/16/2014 11:55:54 AM

The Holiday Festival of Lights officially kicks off Nov. 14 at James Island County Park, but you can be a part of the magic now by taking part in a beloved and delicious holiday tradition – creating a gingerbread house! The Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC) is inviting everyone in Charleston County and beyond, whether professional or amateur, to be part of this year’s Holiday Festival of Lights Gingerbread House Competition.

This year, the Holiday Festival of Lights is celebrating its 25th anniversary, with the theme of “Making Spirits Bright.” Though it’s not required, competition participants are encouraged to use this theme to inspire their gingerbread creation. Entries are not limited to a building or architectural structure, such as a house, train station, or lighthouse, etc. Competitors are welcome to submit unique entries for the competition, as long as the entries are in keeping with the competition rules and procedures. Prospective participants are urged to review the competition rules and procedures available on the Holiday Festival of Lights website,

The 2014 categories and age divisions are:
Category 1: Original Entries, in which the main structure (such as roof and walls) must be constructed primarily of hand-made gingerbread. No gingerbread kits or kit components allowed. The main structure cannot be constructed using primarily graham crackers, cookies or similar pre-made product. Age divisions for the Original Category are Adults age 17 and older, Youth age 8-16 and Parent-Child (child ages 3-7).
Category 2. Kit Entries, in which an entry is constructed using a gingerbread house kit or kit components. This category is inclusive of all ages.

Entries will be judged based on creativity, overall appearance, difficulty and craftsmanship. The top two entries in each category will receive a choice of a CCPRC Gold Pass or Super Splash Pass. The award ceremony for the top winners will take place at the opening evening of this year’s Holiday Festival of Lights on Nov. 14 at 7 p.m. in Santa’s Village at James Island County Park.

The competition is now open, and registration is required by Friday, Nov. 7. There is a $5 non-refundable fee to register. Check-in for all entries will be held Sunday, Nov. 9 from 3 - 4:30 p.m. at Edisto Hall, located within James Island County Park.

So, warm up those ovens, gather up the sugar, the spices, and add a spoonful of creativity to the mix! Interested participants should register through the Park and Program Services Center by calling 843-795-4386. For additional information or questions, visit, or contact the competition coordinator, Marianne Bower, at 843-762-8041.

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