Gingerbread House Competition Added to Athens Holiday Festivities

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The first annual gingerbread house display and competition has been announced for the annual holiday festivities this December in downtown Athens.

Locals can get into the spirit of the season and show off their gingerbread crafting skills.

There are five categories: children (ages 9-12), teens (ages 13-17), adults (ages 18+), groups (clubs, offices, civic organizations, churches, etc.) and professionals (chefs, bakers, cooks, caterers, culinary students, bakeries, restaurants).

A prize of $100 will be awarded for the best in each category, as well as a grand prize of $500 for the best gingerbread replica of an Athens or Athens County historic house, building, landmark or site across all categories. Participants are being encouraged to get creative with their designs.

The designs can be of anything — only the grand prize has a design requirement. The festive gingerbread creations will be on display at various local, downtown businesses during the holiday season.

Jan Hodson said that she and the event co-creator Joyce Mullins have heard positive feedback and intent to participate from many businesses already.

“We have visited most of the uptown businesses and have received enthusiastic responses to our idea of having gingerbread houses displayed in their front windows throughout December,” Hodson said. “Also, we were pleased that the Athens County Historical Society has agreed to display a small collection of the entries at the museum.”

She said businesses, churches, scouts and other groups throughout the county have been contacts.

“…Everyone has been receptive, so we’re hoping to see entries from folks who live in the county as well,” she said.

Hodson said she and Mullins grew up in Athens and went to Ohio University, so they have clear memories of how the downtown area was always an important part of the holidays.

“Even though uptown Athens has changed quite a bit from those years, we believe it can still be the center of holiday activity for families throughout Athens County,” Hodson said. “The gingerbread competition offers one more way for everyone in the county to be involved.”

Commitment to enter is due by Nov. 1. Information on entry fees and rules can be found at