Winners of The 28th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition have finally been unveiled following The Omni Grove Park Inn’s decision to take the beloved holiday tradition virtual.

Across all categories, nearly 100 entries of one-of-a-kind, over-the-top festive gingerbread designs were submitted from around the country as competitors hoped to win a piece of $25,000 in cash and prizes.

A combined virtual and in-person panel of judges, including top national culinary talent evaluated each confection based on strict guidelines including overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme, with each entry required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread.

Returning judge and renowned celebrity chef, author and former television personality Carla Hall along with judges Chef Geoff Blount, Chef Nicholas Lodge & Chef John Cook took their gingerbread duties to the next level by joining the property’s new online cooking course, Baking Spirits Bright: Gingerbread Making Class Series.

404 Jack is Back by Vincent Freeland_Child Second Place Winner_pic1.tif

Vincent Freeland of Conover, North Carolina, puts on a great big smile for his second-place entry “Jack Is Back. Vincent competed in the Child category.

The 2020 winning entries in the categories of adult, teen, youth and child include:

  • Grand Prize Winner, Adult: The Merry Mischief Bakers, “St. Nick’s Christmas Décor Shop” — Phoenix, AZ
  • Adult Second Place: Ann Bailey, “This Place Called Home” — Cary, NC
  • Adult Third Place: Thomas Blake Hogan, “Sea Questered” — Kansas City, MO
  • Teen (ages 13-17) First Place: The Rhinehart Sisters, “Peace, Love, Joy” — Columbia, TN
  • Teen Second Place: The Toccoa Titans, “Arctic Wonders” — Blue Ridge, GA
  • Teen Third Place: Julia Kincaid, “The Gingerbread Christmas Pyramid” — Winston Salem, NC
  • Youth (ages 9-12) First Place: The Sugar Squad, “Santa Stop” — Marshall, NC
  • Youth Second Place: Emma Rhinehart, “Merry Minions” — Columbia, TN
  • Youth Third Place: Perry Reid, “Christmas…2020” — Travelers Rest, SC
  • Child (ages 5-8) First Place: The Glitter Girls, “A Mermaid Christmas” — Blue Ridge, GA
  • Child Second Place: Vincent Freeland, “Jack is Back” — Conover, NC
  • Child Third Place: Lucille Gomes, “Roughing It” — Asheville, NC.


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