Home sweet home

Building gingerbread houses at the Oak Bluffs library


The Oak Bluffs library held its first annual Gingerbread House Making Competition on Saturday, Dec. 17, and it was a sweet success, with 26 participants and six onlookers watching the magic happen.

According to an email from Michelle Lynch, children’s and young adult librarian at the library, the program was first conceived by adult programming coordinator Hannah Burbidge and herself. After such a strong level of participation this year, Lynch said library staff are planning on continuing the event in the future. 

Each gingerbread house team had three to six participants, and each team was made up of at least one adult and two kids or teens. The youngest kids were 7 years old. Starting at 2:30 pm, the library room was set up like a cooking/baking competition you might see on TV. There was one hour on the clock and each team was provided all the materials they needed to create a beautiful gingerbread house. 

There were gingerbread house village kits (four houses in three styles), frosting, sprinkles, candy corn, Mike and Ikes, Sour Patch Kids, snow caps, pretzel snaps, Teddy Grahams, graham crackers, and other tasty goodies. Each building project was judged on the finished product (does the village look finished and tidy?). Judges also determined if all four of the gingerbread houses provided were incorporated into the village. Teams were also evaluated based on creativity, with materials and uniqueness of vision, along with any special structures, and the overall theme of the gingerbread village.

After looking over many meticulously made and inventive gingerbread creations, the village that took home the gold was by the Ferrucci family. They made a community of four gingerbread houses in a circle, with walkways that met in the middle at a fountain. One of the houses had a tall chimney, which gave the team the extra points needed to come out with the win. 

“The room was abuzz with a competitive and excited spirit. It was so wonderful to see the creativity of each team,” Lynch wrote. 

Teams were allowed to take home their creations if they desired: Three teams brought their villages home to enjoy, and three teams left theirs at the library for the public to view. The villages will be on display until the end of December. 

As each team left, they expressed their gratitude for the opportunity to take part in such a fun competition. “One parent shared how a team of 9- and 10-year-old friends were already strategizing for next year,” Lynch wrote in the email.

“At the Oak Bluffs library, we value connecting, collaborating, welcoming, and expressing. In the work at a library, these values present themselves in different ways. It is so exciting to see these values in action during the various programs we run each month,” Lynch wrote.