This gingerbread house took 2,000 hours to build, won National Gingerbread House Competition

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — Imagine spending 2,000 hours on creating a gingerbread house. That’s exactly what the Merry Mischief Bakers did, a group of five artists that captured the 2021 National Gingerbread House Competition’s top prize at the Omni Grove Park Inn.

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“The story of the (gingerbread house) is that it’s Santa’s workshop and it’s where the elves go to play on Christmas Day after all the toys that they have made have been delivered around the world,” Ted Scutti from the Merry Mischief Bakers said.

The group started planning the creation in May. For an extra element of difficulty, they don’t even live in the same town. Three of them live in Phoenix while the other two live in different parts of California. It’s the second year in a row they have captured the competition’s top prize.

The 2021 event marks the 29th year of the resort’s competition. It’s a holiday tradition, both for competitors and for guests. With the entries on display throughout the hotel, visiting and viewing the entrants makes for a fun day out.

“We have the displays but also the great gingerbread house in the lobby that is selling hot chocolate and specialty craft brews,” Susan Rotante from the Omni Grove Park Inn said. “Gingerbread houses themselves are really strewn throughout the hotel and we welcome everyone to come visit.”

For the competition, the creations have to be 100% edible and 75% of it must be gingerbread. It doesn’t have to be a house. Entries are judged on overall appearance, originality and creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme.

Head north to Asheville and the Omni Grove Park Inn.

Want to visit? The hotel permits visitors from Sunday afternoons through Thursdays. There’s a $25 parking fee with some of the proceeds benefiting area charities.

But make a night out of it. Tour the gingerbread creations, spend some time in front of the massive fireplaces and enjoy all the other holiday decor.