Home Arts & Culture The most magical Gingerbread House will win $2500

The most magical Gingerbread House will win $2500

Unleash your inner architect and join the sweetest competition  for a cause and a chance to win a $2500 cash prize! Studer Community Institute’s annual Gingerbread House Contest & Festivities will take place on Saturday, December 16th and there is still time for you and or your team to enter.


The Gingerbread House Competition will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, at the SCI building, 220 W. Garden St. Open and free to the public, the event includes a display of gingerbread houses, an opportunity to vote via donation, light refreshments, entertainment, and other activities, including a trip to the North Pole and photos with Santa.

Local residents and judges will choose the winner of the gingerbread competition, which includes local bakers, artists, or anyone with gingerbread, frosting, and creativity. This year’s competition will include participation from local middle and high schools’ culinary arts academies as well as an elementary school and sponsor showcase.

Here’s the scoop.

Registration:  The deadline to enter is Friday, December 8th! The link to register and all the details can be found here. *Individual, adult, registration fee is $50. Team, adult, registration fee is $200, ONLY up to 5 people permissible. No exceptions.


  1. Adult/Professional Division (Individual or Team)
  2. Middle/High School Culinary Academies — FREE entry. Culinary Academies (Middle Schools and High Schools) may each enter up to 3 houses in the competition. Register your academy through Eventbrite. Email Katie Player at buildingbrainsintern@studeri.org for promo code.
  3. Elementary Student Showcase — FREE entry. Each class may enter up to 3 houses in the competition. Individuals may enter 1 house. The showcase is open to all elementary and middle schoolers. Register through Eventbrite.
  4. Sponsor Showcase — To be eligible for this category, the participant and/or company must be a paid and registered sponsor. The sponsor category is not eligible for a cash prize. Potential sponsors please contact Donte Sheppard at dsheppard@studeri.org or Katie Player buildingbrainsintern@studeri.org


  • Adult/Professional Division
    • 1st Place – $2,500
    • 2nd Place – $1,500
    • 3rd Place – $500
  • Middle/High School Culinary Academies
    • 1st Place – $500 for their academy
    • 2nd Place – $250 for their academy
    • 3rd Place – $100 for their academy

A few of the esteemed judges include Bert Thornton, retired President/COO and the Vice Chairman Emeritus of Waffle House, and Patty Hightower, Escambia County School Board, District 4, and will be judging the homes based on the below criteria: 

  1. Overall Appearance
  2. Originality and Creativity
  3. Difficulty
  4. Precision and Neatness
  5. Consistency of Theme (Theme: Holiday Movies)

“We see all sorts of entrants. From everyday home cooks to professional chefs and architects. This event has been part of SCI’s Building Brains initiative since 2014,” said Katie Player, SCI Intern. “It’s a great way to engage in a fun, family friendly holiday event and support a great cause that benefits the future of our communtiy.”

SCI’s Building Brains Program aims to inform parents and caregivers about the importance of early brain development, equip them with resources, and support them throughout their journey so that their child has a great start in life. Your participation in this event helps Studer Community Institute get one step closer to their goals of empowering parents and caregivers, increasing child literacy, and improving the kindergarten readiness rates in our community.