They all appear good enough to eat, but please don’t until after the competition ends, as gingerbread houses are now on display through Sunday for the annual building contest in connection with the 34th annual Snowflake Festival.
Appropriately hosted by the Klamath Basin Home Builders Association (KBHBA), every entered gingerbread structure is on public display during regular business hours to view, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
The structures are diminutive in scale, but impressive in design. Every house is completely edible, comprised of homemade gingerbread, frosting, pretzel sticks, graham crackers, cereal and various candies to create lavish and deliciously aromatic landscapes and structures.
Some have themes such as farm pastures, a lake, a train going through a mountain’s tunnel, and more. Each are unique, utilizing edible architecture to create incredible designs from imagination.
The rules of the contest required only homemade gingerbread as the base building structure, though store-bought candies, frosting, pretzels and other edible ingredients are permitted. A list of all ingredients had to be submitted at the time the house was entered in the contest, and with the exception of the platform on which the houses rest everything had to be edible.
A total of 23 gingerbread entries are on display at KBHBA across eight different categories. They range from preschool/kindergarten entries, to elementary for grades 1-3, intermediate as grades 4-6, juniors (grades 7-9), seniors (grades 10-12), adult entries (18 and over), family submissions with at least two relatives working on the project together, and organization entries.
The contest is a friendly competition for bragging rights in the holiday season, but the top judged selections do receive something extra. First place winners in the preschool through adult categories receive a blue ribbon, cash, and bowling passes at Epicenter. Top selections for the family and organization categories receive a blue ribbon, cash, and a family party package at Epicenter.
In the preschool/kindergarten category, Saxton (no last name submitted) was named the first place winner. Paige took first among Grades 1-3, Madison for Grades 4-6, and Ashlee for Grades 7-9. There was no senior submission.
Among family entries, the Ulbricht’s family exquisite depiction of a large and festive home earned first place, with the Shaw family earning honorable mention.
In the adult category, an incredible multi-story gingerbread house showing intricate scenes in the interior and exterior of Santa’s home by Joni Hansen earned first place.
Honorable mention honors went to Carolyn Johnston’s farm house, and special recognition was granted to Tabitha Abel-Cooper’s submission, which incorporated the Snowflake Festival’s theme – “Through the Eyes of a Child.”
One prize still awaits a winner — that of the People’s Choice Award. Visitors to KBHBA can submit a vote form for their favorite gingerbread submission. The top vote recipient will be announced on Sunday when the contest exhibit closes.
Klamath Basin Home Builders Association is located at 205 Riverside Drive in Klamath Falls.