Gingerbread artists of all ages and backgrounds from across the country came together last week to exhibit their one-of-a-kind edible creations, while celebrating the 27th year of the National Gingerbread House Competition, hosted at The Omni Grove Park Inn.

Across all categories, 226 entries were received from foodies coast-to-coast challenging one another to win their share of more than $25,000 in cash and prizes at the storied Blue Ridge Mountain retreat, which is fully immersed in festive holiday spirit.

A panel of judges including nationally renowned food, arts and media professionals evaluated each gingerbread innovation based on overall appearance, originality/creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme, with each entry required to be made of at least 75 percent gingerbread.

The 2019 panel of pastry experts included Carla Hall, renowned celebrity chef, author and former television personality; Nadine Orenstein, curator of the department of drawings and prints at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Cheryl Forberg, James Beard Award-winning chef and nutritionist; Mark Seaman, the master sugar artist for Barry Callebaut; and head judge, Nicholas Lodge, the author of over one dozen sugar art books and instructional DVDs; and many others

In true holiday spirit, The Omni Grove Park Inn will be displaying all gingerbread creations from Wednesday, Nov. 20 through Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 to visitors on a complimentary basis.

A $25 per car fee will be charged for all drive-in guests, with half of the parking proceeds going to local nonprofit.

For more information or to make reservations, call (800) 438-5800 or visit

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