Woodward, Okla. —
Creativity and construction.
Those were the two main aspects that the judges for the 2013 Dixie Waddle Memorial Gingerbread Contest said stood out about this year's winning designs.
As they looked over the 25 contest entries, judges Patty McGuire, Beverle Reddin, and Bob Jones said they were really impressed by the overall "ingenuity" expressed through the different designs.
"They truly came up with some wonderful ideas," McGuire said.
In addition to some more traditional gingerbread house designs, other entries in this year's contest included castles, churches, log cabins, a semi truck, a barnyard, and a clock tower. There were even a few water themed entries including a river boat, a sea monster and a tableau of the underwater world of SpongeBob SquarePants.
The judges also commented that the gingerbread entries were not only imaginative in their overall designs, but they also showed innovation in the different ways that their creators used all edible materials to make those designs. For example, they were impressed by the use of sugar cubes to create a wintry looking castle, the use of pretzels as the logs in cabins or as fencing around different designs, the use of toasted pumpkin seeds to mimic scales on the sea monster, and even the use of shredded wheat cereal as hay in the barnyard scene.
The judges said they were also impressed with how well constructed all the entries were.
Reddin said she was particularly awed by those designs that incorporated more challenging techniques from the rounded gingerbread turrets on one castle design to the sheer height of the clock tower, which was around 3-feet tall.
Jones said he was amazed by all the detail work included in the designs.
"You can look at them and tell it took time to do all that work," he said.
All three of the judges said it was really difficult to choose between so many great entries.
"You just wish you could give them all awards," Jones said as Reddin and McGuire nodded in agreement.
After much deliberation, the trio finally made the following award selections, listed by category.
• Children's (ages 8-15): Best of Show - Shawna Adams of Fargo; 1st place - Caroline Price, Brayden Stewart, Connor Price, and Grayson Stewart, all of Woodward; 2nd place - Natalie Hosier of Woodward; 3rd place - Mary Pearcy of Midwest City; Honorable Mention - Rylei Kornele of Mooreland
• Adult (ages 16 and up): Best of Show - Claudine Larimore of Woodward; 1st place - Charlie Burns and Greg Nuse, both of Woodward; 2nd place - Edith Pearcy of Woodward; 3rd place - David and Candace Simmons, of Chester; Honorable Mention - Melinda Hosier of Woodward
• Family: Best of Show: Melton Family of Mutual; 1st place - Christina Christayla, Tanis Thompson and Ryland Vassar, all of Woodward; 2nd place - Madison Harmon, Hailey Harlow and Brandi Dial, all of Woodward; 3rd place - Xaiden Doyle and Cai Pearcy, both of Woodward; Honorable Mention - Sarah Mabra of Mooreland
Those entries that placed or received Best of Show will be presented with their cash awards during a reception at the museum from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Dec. 21.
Museum Director Robert Roberson said he will also be making "a special announcement about the gingerbread contest" during the reception.
In addition, Roberson said that as a special treat Santa Claus will also be visiting the museum on Dec. 21.
The gingerbread winners and other entries will be on display in the museum's art gallery through Jan. 7.