PORT TOWNSEND — Port Townsend’s annual gingerbread house contest is moving downtown this year.
The contest has traditionally been held uptown at Aldrich’s Market, which has already thrown a farewell party.
The announcement of the closure of the 121-year-old market may have been premature, however.
Owner Milton Fukuda is in talks with an unidentified buyer for the market at 940 Lawrence St., and so far, the market is expected to stay open.
In the meantime, though, the market won’t host the annual contest, although it is expected to host it again in 2017.
Instead, the Port Townsend Main Street Program has taken over the 24th edition of the annual tradition.
This year’s contest will be at Flagship Landing, 1007 Water St., which will begin accepting entries this week.
“Our theme for the December holidays is ‘Look Here First for Family Fun and Holiday Memories,’” said Mari Mullen, Port Townsend Main Street Program director.
“The gingerbread contest is the perfect example of this because it is a favorite tradition among many Port Townsend families.”
Entries can be dropped off starting this coming Friday and will be accepted through Dec. 30. Entry forms can be found at www.ptmainstreet.org or picked up in person at Whistle Stop Toys in Flagship Landing starting Dec. 19.
Entries require a fee of one canned food item to be donated to the Jefferson County Food Bank.
Judging will be in three categories: individual children 12 and younger; children’s group, which must be made up of children 12 and younger; and the 12-and-older category, which can be done as an individual or a group.
Each gingerbread creation will need a name, though the Main Street Program has requested no politically themed projects, and must be made of gingerbread in any form, although projects made from traditional gingerbread, rather than gingerbread crackers, will be given extra credit during the judging process.
In previous years, gingerbread house versions of Santa’s Workshop and the Jefferson County Courthouse have been submitted, so contestants are encouraged to get creative, Mullen said.
Creations are limited to a footprint of 18 inches by 24 inches, but the sky’s the limit on the height.
The rules from the Port Townsend Main Street Program say that, while the gingerbread must be the base of a gingerbread house, inedible decorations are allowed.
The gingerbread houses will be on display starting this Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and judging will take place Jan. 7 at 1 p.m.
Winners will receive prizes, which include gift certificates to Elevated Ice Cream and Candy Co., Whistle Stop Toys and the Rose Theatre.
Gingerbread houses are to be picked up Jan. 14.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].