Bakers wanted for annual “Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays” contest

Mike Colvin DDP Press Releases

A public vote will decide this year’s winner at the Dayton Holiday Festival on Friday, November 24.

August 30, 2023 (DAYTON, Ohio) – The taste of sweet victory is just a few short months away for the champion of an annual confectionary competition! The Downtown Dayton Partnership (DDP) is looking for up to 20 pastry powerhouses to be part of the 16th annual “Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays” contest. Members of the public will vote on their favorite house to determine which gingerbread home designers will take home cash prizes during the 2023 Dayton Holiday Festival kickoff event on Friday, November 24.

Applications are now open for interested participants. Bakers and pastry designers of all ages and skill levels are encouraged to fill out an online application detailing their vision and plan for their gingerbread creation. Up to 20 entrants will be selected to compete and have their finished gingerbread masterpiece on display inside of the Old Courthouse. Selected entrants will showcase their completed masterpiece to compete for the title of “Best House on the Block” with a top prize of $400. The second-place vote-getter will receive $200. All selected applicants will receive a $200 stipend to help cover the cost of building materials.

Traditional houses, building replicas, and even cardboard entries are all allowed in the competition. However, all exposed surfaces should be covered with edible materials. More guidelines and criteria can be found on the official entry form, which is available to fill out online here or available to print at Applications are due by Wednesday, September 20.

“Bakers bring an impressive amount of innovation, creativity, and attention to detail to this competition year after year,” said Sandra K. Gudorf, president of the Downtown Dayton Partnership. “The Gingerbread Home for the Holidays contest is a favorite feature of the Dayton Holiday Festival, and we’re excited to see how this year’s contestants can transform their holiday treats into works of art.”

The Gingerbread Homes for the Holidays contest is part of the month-long Dayton Holiday Festival, presented by AES Ohio, the Downtown Dayton Partnership, and the Virginia W. Kettering Dayton Holiday Festival Fund. For more information on the contest and other activities that are part of the Dayton Holiday Festival, call (937) 224-1518 or visit

For more information: Lynn Robertson, 937-224-1518 ext. 227 or

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