NEWBERRY — The winners of the City of Newberry’s Gingerbread House Competition were announced on Saturday, and Steven Eric Moore was the winner for the adult competition and Julianna Smith was the winner for the Kids Village competition.
“The scores were so incredibly close, but Eric got a perfect score. Everyone should be proud, we were blown away. With it being the first year and people showing what they are capable of, I hope everyone who participated this year comes back in the future, build on it and also get more people into it,” said Mary Alex Kopp, Tourism and Events coordinator at City Of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism. “Everyone who entered, on some level, said this was their first time doing gingerbread, which was just incredible and everyone who entered was from Newberry County.”
Smith won for her “Very Berry Camping Cabin.” Kopp said that the judges were impressed with how creative she was with the different types of candy she used.
“She used animal crackers to be like little animals in the woods around her cabin, which is really cute. They liked the use of pretzels to look like a log cabin, that kind of thing,” she said.
Smith won a certificate and ribbon, and a $50 gift certificate to the Newberry Arts Center.
In the adult competition the judges were looking for five main criteria: overall appearance, originality and creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme.
The second runner up was Julee Ringer for “There’s No Place Like Home” she received a certificate with a ribbon and $200.
“It is a gingerbread rendition of her parent’s home, which is a tree farm in the county. What was really notable about hers was virtually every piece of the construction was handmade, in some aspect. She did use some pretzels for decoration, some little holly leaf candy for decoration, but a lot of it she did by hand. They loved the Cinnamon Toast Crunch shingle roof,” Kopp said. “Gluing on each of those individual shingles, that took a lot of time and dedication, so they (judges) appreciated that.”
The first runner up was Katie LaHaye with “Have Yourself a Berry Little Christmas” she received a certificate with a ribbon and $300.
“Her’s was a large gingerbread rendition of the Community Hall Building, they (judges) were really impressed with the fact she really worked to make it as exact as possible. She counted out each of the windows individually, so that’s all exact. She used cookies and large peppermint canes to represent columns of the building. She pressed a grid pattern into the base to represent the brick pattern that goes in front of the community building,” Kopp said. “She did a miniature version of our Community Christmas Tree and the present boxes that go out in front of it, and dusted it with an edible glitter, and you know glitter makes everything better.”
Moore was the best in show winner for “Christmas Time.” He received a certificate with a ribbon and $500.
“The work he did was really impressive, he created an entirely homemade gingerbread cuckoo clock, that is on stilts of candy canes. He used Wheat Thins as shingles, he went savory and sweet when making his,” Kopp said. “He made individual Christmas trees out of ice cream cones.”
Kopp added that Moore was very exact to an actual cuckoo clock. He also added stained glass windows in the back, made of sugar.
All of the gingerbread houses are on display in the Newberry Opera House, and will be until Dec. 20.
“Sodexo so graciously gave $2,000 to this year’s Christmas events. With that money we were able to fund the prize money and breakfast with Santa. We hope to continue this partnership with them in the future,” Kopp said.
Reach Andrew Wigger at 803-276-0625 ext. 1867 or on Twitter @ TheNBOnews.