Dec. 5—MIDDLEBURY — On Saturday, Middlebury Then and Now hosted its third annual Gingerbread Jamboree at the Middlebury Community Historical Museum.
This year's contest had 13 contestants featured in three different categories: adult, youth and family. The houses were all homemade from either a kit or built from scratch into a custom design. Prizes ranged from $50 for the best of show/fan favorite, $25 for first place in each division, $15 for second and $10 for third.
"We also have a free make and take snowman craft for kids here," said Dara Kauffman, organizer for Middlebury Then and Now. "We're always looking for things that will bring children together with their parents to do things. We want to make sure we're highlighting things here in Middlebury so people will come out and see what else is here."
For some, Saturday's jamboree was not their first experience with the event.
"This is our third time entering," said gingerbread house contestant Keith Hodgman of Middlebury. "They are different every year. We go into it not knowing what we're going to do. The ideas just kind of form. We bounce ideas off each other.
"We just started doing it about three years ago when they first started it," Hodgman added, noting that one of the biggest challenges is just making sure the houses don't fall apart. "Really thick frosting is used to keep the house together."
During the event, guests shared their thoughts on their favorite entries and voted for the best of show.
"My favorite gingerbread house was number 10," said Sophia Shorte, 10, of LaGrange. "It was a Christmas barn with lots of farm animals in front. It had sheep, a cow and a snowman.
"I would like to do this with my family next year," she added. "That'd be really fun."
"My favorite gingerbread house was number seven," said René Shamblen of Middlebury. "I like how it was put together. It looked like a log cabin. That was my favorite, and the pine trees up front. I have not built a gingerbread house before. I think this would be something we could do together. I think it would be fun."
Joseph Weiser is a photojournalist for The Goshen News. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 574-538-2349 or (cell) 574-202-8479.