WEEKEND: Architectural creations of gingerbread delight in Port Townsend (Deadline for entries is Saturday.)
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Mike Nissen checks out some of the entries in the annual Aldrich’s Market gingerbread house contest. Prospective gingerbread artists have until Saturday to submit their best work, with winners announced Sunday at 2:30 p.m. —Photo by Charlie Bermant/Peninsula Daily News

By Charlie Bermant
Peninsula Daily News

PORT TOWNSEND — Interest in Aldrich's Market's annual gingerbread house contest has been building all week.

By Tuesday morning, seven people had entered. By Christmas Day, that number had swelled to 13.

“We had a slow start” in this year's contest, said Milt Fukuda, owner of the grocery at 940 Lawrence St.

“But it's typical to get more entries toward the end of the week because many people make the houses on Christmas Day,” said Fukuda, who added that no more had come in by 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Clerk Tom Hedley said that on Christmas Day several inquiries had been made, and he expected more entries before the deadline Saturday at 9 p.m.

That's when the store, which is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the winter and spring — closes.

At this rate, this year's event could draw more than last year's number of 17.

It is the 21st year that Aldrich's has sponsored the contest, which began accepting entries Dec. 14.

It's for a good cause.

The entry fee is an item of non-perishable food for the Port Townsend Food Bank.

The awards ceremony will be at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, with prizes awarded in three categories: individual child 12 and younger; children's group 12 and younger; and older than 12, individual or group.

Aldrich's employees are the judges.

Entries will be displayed until Jan. 4, with contestants asked to pick up the houses by 5 p.m. the following day.

Each project must have a name and no political themes are allowed, although patriotic themes are encouraged, Fukuda said.

The house footprint can be no larger than 18 inches by 24 inches. There are no restrictions on height.

Although inedible decorations are allowed, gingerbread dough must be the basis for all of the houses.

Extra credit is given to those who use traditional gingerbread as opposed to gingerbread crackers.

“A lot of people use the gingerbread house kits, but some of the entries are made from scratch,” Fukuda said.

“Many of them are simple, but there are people who submit something more elaborate every year.”

Last year, Swan School student Gigi Jaidev won the top prize in her category with her gingerbread igloos.

Other creations dealt with such varied themes as a replica of the tall ship Adventuress, which is based in Port Townsend, as well as rainbows, Candyland, SpongeBob SquarePants, a tin soldier and a Christmas village.

For more information, phone the store at 360-385-0500 or go to www.aldrichs.com.

________

Jefferson County Editor Charlie Bermant can be reached at 360-385-2335 or cbermant@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: December 27. 2013 12:49AM
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