News From Terre Haute, Indiana

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November 18, 2013

Gingerbread house decorating contest kicks off

‘Mansions’ replace ‘houses’ of traditional holiday treat

TERRE HAUTE — Individuals and groups in the Wabash Valley are invited to participate in a long-standing holiday tradition and to show off their decorating skills in the process.

Kits are now available for the annual Miracle on 7th Street Gingerbread House Decorating Contest. The contest, which is one of the events of Miracle on 7th Street, is now on its third year.

 The kits and registration forms are available at Boo’s Crossroads Cafe, 679 Wabash Avenue in downtown Terre Haute. The entry fee is $25 and includes one Gingerbread House kit.

“The gingerbread houses this year are actually mansions,” said organizer Lisa Johnson.

“In the past, they have been a much smaller version,” she said. “So we really do try to change the kits up so it’s more fun and different.”

The contest is limited to 40 entries and gingerbread house kits are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Entries (that is, fully decorated gingerbread houses) need to be dropped off at The Indiana Theatre at 683 Ohio St. between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 4.

Judging will take place starting at 5: 30 p.m. on Dec. 4 and a reception open to the public will immediately follow.

First, second and third place winners will be announced that evening and will receive a gift baskets valued at $75, $50 or $25.

Entries will be judged on originality, theme, techniques and quality of workmanship. The judges will be Abby Colwell of Sodexo; Wade Fulford of Gordon Food Service; and Bette LaPlante of Tiers of Elegance.

But the public gets to participate in the judging, too.

The “People’s Choice” winner will be selected by the public.

Members of the public can “vote” for their choice by putting money in a donation box next to each display during a public viewing and voting at the Indiana Theater from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on  Dec. 4 and 5 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 6, which is also Miracle Night.

The entry with the most money collected will win the “People’s Choice” award. The winner — who will receive an iPod Touch — will be announced the week immediately following Miracle on 7th Street.

Miracle on 7th Street is an annual event holiday event in downtown Terre Haute.

It will take place this year from 5 to 10 p.m. on Dec. 6 at the intersection of Seventh Street and Wabash Avenue, according to a press release.

In addition to the gingerbread house decorating contest, the night will also feature an open air marketplace, tree decorating contest, wreath and poinsettia sales and Santa and Mrs. Claus.

According to the Gingerbread House Decorating contest sheet, the charities benefiting from the Miracle on 7th Street include 14th & Chestnut’s Grumbling Tummies Program, Salvation Army’s Christmas Food Basket Program, St. Benedict’s Soup Kitchen and the Tribune-Star’s Christmas Basket Fund.

“It started as a Christmas party, but now, it’s a major charitable event,” said Boo Lloyd, organizer and one of the founders of Miracle on 7th Street.

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