The 2020 National Gingerbread Competition will NOT have a public display at The Omni Grove Park Inn this year due to COVID. But don't worry, there are plenty of ways to celebrate and see the amazing creations virtually this year, along with new in-person and socially distanced alternative activities for hotel guests and fans at-home to enjoy.
Virtual Activities for Fans At-Home
- Baking Spirits Bright: Gingerbread Making Class Series
From October 21, 2020 - January 21, 2021, learn how to make Gingerbread Houses at-home via a three-part series featuring All-Star Chefs & Competition Judges (including celebrity chef, Carla Hall). A portion of the proceeds goes to ACFEF’s Chef & Child Initiative. Class takers also receive 15% off future stays January-March, 2021. Once purchased, the class series is available for unlimited viewing until October 1, 2021. Go to their website for details.
- The 12 Days of Gingerbread
A new way of celebrating the 2020 National Gingerbread House Competition Finalists together while staying apart. From December 1-12, one finalist will be announced per day, with the Grand Prize Winner revealed on December 12 (National Gingerbread House Day!). Tune in via Facebook (@omnigroveparkinn) & Instagram (@omnigrovepark). Go to their website for details.
In-House Guest Activities
- Best In Dough: Gingerbread Finalist Showcase
A rare view of the Finalists’ entries via a docu-style film for hotel guests starting November 23. The film includes interviews with competitors, judges, and 360 footage of the finalists’ creations. Tickets are available to overnight guests only to ensure safety measures remain intact and can be reserved as part of their stay.
- The Great Gingerbread House
The Great Hall will be transformed into a holiday destination, with a life-sized Gingerbread House modeled after the historic hotel. Guests can enjoy house-made hot chocolate, specialty craft brews & sweet treats by the glow of the iconic The Omni Grove Park Inn fireplaces.
2020 Holiday Package
- Stay A Part of Holiday Magic: This winter, stay a part of holiday magic with up to 15% off our best available rates. Enjoy late checkout and a taste of The National Gingerbread House Competition™ with an exclusive gingerbread welcome gift. Guests can pay it forward via Omni Hotels & Resorts' “Say Goodnight to Hunger” program, which includes a donation to MANNA FoodBank for every stay.
Know Before You Go
Enjoying the hotel grounds this holiday season will be available for guests primarily with confirmed reservations. Guests will be required to show reservation confirmation via cell phone or print-out to gain entry to the property. Those who arrive without a reservation during high occupancy times will not be permitted access to the grounds to ensure social distancing and capacity restrictions remain intact. Please note that only registered resort pets are permitted on the property. No outside pets will be allowed.
Since the inception of the Holiday Parking Partner program in 2013, The Omni Grove Park Inn has been honored to contribute over $535,000 to not-for-profit partners in Western North Carolina. A minimum $25 parking charge will be in effect for all drive-on guests (one charge per standard-sized vehicle, based on availability). A portion of each parking charge collected this holiday season will be donated to the community in support of local not-for-profit organizations.
The National Gingerbread House Competition Judging Criteria
Except for the base, entries must be constructed of edible materials. The main structure should be at least 75% gingerbread, some of which should be exposed. Edible materials are not limited to candies and icings. Entries are judged on five criteria:
- Overall Appearance
- Originality & Creativity
- Consistency of Theme
To get an entry form, go to The Grove Park Inn Gingerbread website. There will be no awards ceremony this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Their address is 290 Macon Avenue, Asheville (about 2 miles from downtown and 4.5 miles from Biltmore Estate). Read more about The legendary Omni Grove Park Inn. For more things to do during the holiday season, see our Top Asheville Holiday Outings and Events.