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VIRTUAL COMPETITION & DISPLAY IN 2020


Since its inception in 2002 when Downtown hotels held a competition to benefit the Children’s Hospital Free Care Fund, the holidays simply haven’t been complete without the annual Gingerbread House Display & Competition.


This treasured Pittsburgh holiday tradition will continue in 2020 in a VIRTUAL FORMAT.


Talented individuals, families, organizations, students and chefs in western Pennsylvania can create gingerbread masterpieces and upload photos to enter the competition.


Everyone can enjoy browsing the hundreds of gingerbread house entries via an online gallery. And this year, individuals viewing the gallery can vote for a new PEOPLE’S CHOICE award winner!


VIEW 2020 AWARD RECIPIENTS

Gingerbread display of a yellow city bridge.

The City of Pittsburgh is proud to present the 18th annual Gingerbread House Display & Competition.

The online display will debut on November 20.


GINGERBREAD COMPETITION ENTRIES
Upload photos November 1 – 15, 2020.
No advance registration necessary.


GINGERBREAD DISPLAY
View all entries via online gallery November 20 – January 8.


PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD VOTING
Visit the gallery voting form to cast your ballot for this brand new award.

COMPETITION DETAILS


Due to restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Gingerbread House Display and Competition will be entirely virtual. Houses will be seen from the front and side via participant photo submission and will be displayed on the official City of Pittsburgh Gingerbread Display and Competition website from November 20, 2020 through January 8, 2021.

This year a completed submission consists of the online entry form and house photos. The form will be available from November 1 – 15, 2020.

Each entry must include two (2) photos of the completed house.

  • High resolution quality photos preferred
  • One (1) photo should be front-facing and one (1) should be side or 3/4 view
  • Use a solid, neutral background
  • Photos should be free of any identifying factors: names, faces, school, or business logos
  • Photos must be uploaded with naming of files as follows: LastName_FirstName_NameofHouse
  • Only image file formats will be accepted (.jpeg, .png, .gif, .psd, .pdf, .ai, etc.)

Due to the virtual nature of the 2020 contest, guidelines may be different from prior years or what will again be required in years to come.

The ONLY requirement of this year’s competition is that the majority of your house must be composed of edible materials. Use of gum paste, fondant, pastillage chocolate, modeling chocolate, royal icing, isomalt, cast sugar, gelatin, and pressed sugar is encouraged.

We recommend small to medium size, single-structure houses (rather than scenes).

JUDGING

Judging will occur before the virtual exhibit opens. You will be notified if you receive an award, and winners will be clearly identified on the event website. Please remember that the judging is subjective. Judges are given these guidelines to follow:

  • Originality & Creativity
  • Difficulty
  • Overall Appearance & Appeal
  • Precision & Neatness
  • Majority of decorations on the house are edible

AWARDED CATEGORIES

  • Pre-School & Kindergarten
  • Elementary School (grade 1 - 5)
  • Middle School (grade 6 - 8)
  • High School (grade 9 - 12)
  • Culinary
  • City Departments & Authorities
  • Children
    • 5 & Under
    • 6 – 9
    • 10 – 13
    • 14 – 17
  • Family
  • Professional
  • Non-Profit Group (Adult 18+)
  • Non-Profit Group (Children)
    • 5 & Under
    • 6 – 9
    • 10 – 13
    • 14 – 17

CATEGORY DESCRIPTIONS

FAMILY
Enter as a family if family members of varied ages worked on the project together. If the project was constructed by your child and you only provided basic instruction and assistance, enter in the individual Children category under the appropriate age. If more than one child in your family was involved, they will still enter in the individual Children category (not the Non-Profit group category). Enter under the average age of the children. Parents can assist children by baking the gingerbread and helping to assemble the structure.

NON-PROFIT GROUP (CHILDREN)
Various ages; refers to groups such as Girl and Boy Scouts, Youth Groups at churches, etc.

NON-PROFIT GROUP (ADULT)
This group includes senior citizen groups and assisted living homes, church groups, family-oriented non-profit groups such as the YMCA, etc.

SCHOOL
Includes any public, private, or charter school classroom project, except those completed in a culinary class.

CULINARY
High school or post-high school class or individual affiliated with a culinary class.

PROFESSIONAL
Individuals or businesses who work in the food service industry.

CITY OF PITTSBURGH DEPARTMENTS & AUTHORITIES
Includes City of Pittsburgh Departments and Authorities such as Department of Public Safety, PWSA, URA, etc.




2020 MEDIA PARTNERS


UPCOMING HOLIDAY FESTIVITIES


CHRISTMAS TREE
The City of Pittsburgh's celebration of the 2020 holiday season features a magnificent decorated evergreen on the Portico of the City-County Building. This treasured tradition in Downtown Pittsburgh continues for a 105th year. The beautiful blue spruce -- donated by a resident of Webster Avenue in the City's Hill District -- will be on display beginning November 15 and continuing throughout the holiday season.

Pittsburgh's official Christmas Tree was first erected at the construction site of the City-County Building in 1915. For more than a century, a beautiful live evergreen (the only live holiday tree Downtown) has graced the front steps of our seat of government.

New in 2020: The City of Pittsburgh presents a pre-recorded “virtual” Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Check out the 2020 Virtual Tree Lighting.