A Rice Krispie and gingerbread Marine bear by Scott Maye earned first place in the professional category.
For many families, making gingerbread houses is a much-loved holiday tradition.
Each Christmas season, for nearly a decade now, Regions Bank in downtown Kingsport has given area folks of all ages the opportunity to showcase their baking and decorating skills with its annual Gingerbread House Contest.
More than 30 houses are on display at the bank now through Jan. 3, 2014.
“This has become such a popular community event,” said Christina Vaughn, who organizes and oversees the contest each year. “What’s great about it is both kids and adults love doing it. And this year, we even had some businesses get in on the fun. And it brings a lot of people out to just come look at the houses while they’re on display.”
Winners were announced earlier this month with cash prizes awarded to first and second places in each category.
Winners in each category include: Professional — Scott Maye (first place) and Cattrenia Gordon (second place); Family Plus — Emma Blackman Family (first place) and TRACES (second place); 18 and older — Michelle Webb (first place) and Marlene Morelock (second place); 13 to 17 years old — Lilly Kramer (first place) and Kaylie Vaughn (second place); 9 to 12 years old — Hanna Chambers (first place) and Kylie Vaughn (second place); and 5 to 8 years old — Kate Rinehart (first place) and Jorja Skeens and Taylor Darnell (second place).
And this year, for the first time, there was an additional category called Mayor’s Choice. Shabbie Allies was the winner of this brand new category.
Vaughn said the first-place winner in the Professional category is a regular entrant, but that this year, Maye really outdid himself.
“His entries always have some sort of special significance or memory,” she said. “This year he made a teddy bear out of Rice Krispy treats for the inside and then wrapped the outside with gingerbread. His bear has on a Marine uniform. He said he made it in memory of his best friend, whom his son is named after. His friend got killed and when he brought this one in, he said, ‘This is my heart and soul. This is my best one.’ All the badges and everything you see on the bear, are all the same badges his friend had.”
Believe it or not, it’s not too early to think about next year’s contest, Vaughn says. Applications will be available for pick-up at the bank in early fall.
To see this year’s houses, stop by Regions Bank, located at 415 Broad St. near Church Circle.
For more information, call Vaughn at (423) 229-0105.