Confirmed gingerbread professionals and closet bakers, young novices, masters of the dough and others throughout the Midcoast have begun design and construction work on their confectionery entries for the 16th annual Gingerbread Spectacular being staged at the Opera House in Boothbay Harbor Friday through Sunday, Dec. 16-18.
The annual spectacular marks the convergence of all things gingerbread in the hilarious and often stunningly creative event that has become a beloved tradition in the Boothbay region.
Visitors to the exhibit can expect to see everything from charming, sugar-icicle encrusted gingerbread cottages to sprawling castles. The rules for the event are relatively simple – while entries do not have to be made entirely of gingerbread, they do have to be edible, with an exception being made for the addition of lights and motors.
Creations must be built off site and delivered to the Opera House on Thursday, Dec. 15. Large entries are acceptable, but they must fit through the door. Those interested in entering may contact the Opera House for a full set of rules and dates at 633-6855 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Prizes are awarded for not only the most spectacular, but also for best holiday spirit, most hilarious, best representation of a local landmark, best youth design and best Boothbay Region High School class entry as well as other categories at the discretion of the judges. This year’s judging panel includes bakers Margaret Branch and Kim Martin, in addition to sponsor representative Brenda Blackman and Opera House Board of Directors’ President Amy Valentine.
The Gingerbread Spectacular will kick-off on Friday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m. with a preview celebration. Barney Balch and his band Sheepscot Jazz & Swing will provide dance music, the bar will be open, the Friends of the Opera House holiday bake sale will begin and the gingerbread creations will be on display, with the judges awards being announced. The preview is open from 5 – 7 p.m. No tickets are required, but donations at the door are encouraged.
With thanks to sponsorship from The First National Bank, the spectacular is free and open to the public on Saturday, Dec. 17 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Friends of the Opera House will have a mouth-watering array of cakes, pies, cookies and other holiday sweets available for sale. Live music will be on stage including a performance by Kerry Jackson, Emily Barker, and Genie O’Connell on Sunday at 2 p.m. Other holiday acts to be announced as the dates draw near.
The Opera House at Boothbay Harbor is located at 86 Townsend Ave. Free parking is available for those visiting the spectacular. Additional information is available at boothbayoperahouse.com.