This year, once again the Grove Park Inn hosted the 19th Annual Gingerbread Competition. The temptation is to call it a “gingerbread house” competition but this would be misleading. While many of the entries do consist of houses, an equal number do not. In fact, this years winner was a cowboy boot (granted it was made into a house but still…)
So the Friday after Thanksgiving, James and I took the girls and his mother up to the Grove Park Inn to see what this year’s entries look like. The Grove Park Inn is a mammoth stone structure built in one year (1912-13) by more than 400 men . While there are those who argue its esthetic appeal, it is nevertheless a landmark in Asheville and worth seeing for the lobby alone: 120 feet across, 24 foot ceiling and two 14 foot high fireplaces. I think we could fit the entire downstairs of the Carolina Bed & Breakfast inside it!
Anyway because of the size of the inn and the two hotel extensions built on both sides, it is well suited to display the more than 325 entries to this years competition. One wanders through the halls and stairs following a path past entries from all ages. Children as well as teens and adults enter. We even saw some “houses” made by first and second grade classes. (There was a third grade teacher next to me who allowed as that she couldn’t get her whole class to concentrate on lining up to go home, which made this a real achievement!)
The pieces must be made entirely of edible ingredients and sometimes they don’t hold up. It is always sad to see a crumple mess of cookie with some poor entrant’s name on it. And, like the Biltmore Estate, this is one of those things which men think they won’t enjoy doing and yet always seem to find it more interesting than they thought they would.
With so many entries to be exhibited, some are relegated to the Grove Arcade in downtown Asheville.But I have to say that I stopped by to look at them while I was shopping the other day and they are, for the most part, not representative of the quality on display at the inn.
The pictures here are of the top ten runner ups. If you would like to view some more you can do so on our facebook page by clicking here
|This entry has to be shown in two parts as this is the front|
|And this is the back!|