Essex County Environmental Center Invites the Public to Enter Annual Gingerbread House Contest

ROSELAND, NJ - The Essex County Environmental Center has announced their 2013 Sustainable Homes and Habitats Gingerbread Contest. The free competition offers a variety of categories for participants to choose to enter. Saturday, Nov. 30, is the registration deadline and all entries must be delivered to the Environmental Center by Monday, Dec. 2. The center is located at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland.

Essex County Environmental Center, located at 621 Eagle Rock Avenue, Roseland  Credit: Google Maps

“Our Sustainable Homes and Habitats Gingerbread Contest is a wonderful project that incorporates our mission to raise awareness about nature with a holiday theme,” Essex County Executive Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. commented. “This hands-on, family-oriented contest lets people of all ages learn about the environment in a fun way.”

Gingerbread House Categories
The public is invited to participate in four categories:
  • Individual Child Category
    • Children aged 14 and younger who work independently on all aspects of their entry
  • Group / Family Category
    • Children aged 14 and younger who work as a group or have adult assistance on any aspect of their entry
    • A maximum of five people can work on one entry
  • Adult Non-Professional Category
    • Individuals ages 15 and older who are students of the culinary arts or are not professional chefs
    • Groups of people, no more than 5 people per group, may enter as well
  • Adult Professional Category
    • Individuals ages 15 and older who are who are professional chefs or are working in the culinary arts
    • Groups of people, no more than 5 people per group, may enter as well
  • The base of all entries cannot be larger than 12 inches by 18 inches 
  • There must be at least three identifiable sustainable building design elements, such as candy glass skylights, rainwater reuse, solar panels, etc. and/or a natural habitat component
  • Children’s entries may have a cardboard foundation; however, all surfaces, including the base, must be covered with an edible product
  • All adult entries must be entirely edible, including the base, structure and all decorations

Gingerbread House Making Workshop ~ Saturday, Nov. 30
For people who would like to enter but need a little help getting started, the Environmental Center staff is hosting a free workshop in Garibaldi Hall on Saturday, Nov. 30, at 11 a.m. As that date is also the last day to register for the contest, all creations must be completed by 1 p.m. to be considered. Some materials will be provided, however participants are encouraged to bring their own materials. 

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Judging and Awards 
Ribbons and prizes will be awarded in all categories and the decisions of the judges are final. Essex County and the Essex County Environmental Center do not assume responsibility for damage or loss to the creation. Entries will be judged on the following:
  • Guideline adherence
  • Creative use a nature theme
  • Use of green building design techniques
  • Skill in decoration

All of the entries in the Gingerbread Contest will be on display at the Environmental Center from Thursday, Dec. 5 until Friday, Dec. 20 during business hours. The center is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An awards  ceremony will be held at the center on Saturday, Dec. 21, at 9:30 a.m.

The contest is a popular annual event. “I am amazed at the creativeness and ingenuity of the entries each winter and look forward to another great contest,”  DiVincenzo said.

Further Information:
Essex County Environmental Center
Office Administrator: Maria Robinson
621 Eagle Rock Avenue
Roseland, NJ 07068
(973) 228-8776



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