Burk's Falls back with its Gingerbread House Decorating contest

·4 min read

Because of its popularity during its inaugural year in 2020, Burk's Falls is back with the Gingerbread House Decorating contest.

The poster with all the details will launch Nov. 15 and residents can start picking up their gingerbread homes to decorate from Dec. 1 to 8.

Recreation coordinator Lacey Stevens says as the community gets closer to Christmas, one of the events it will put on is a movie for the area residents.

“But last year Stephen Darling of Stan Darling Insurance approached us with the idea of the gingerbread house decorating contest and due to COVID we felt it was a safer idea so we went forward with it,” Stevens said.

Stan Darling Insurance and Burk's Falls Home Hardware bought and provided all the gingerbread houses for decorating in 2020. They are repeating the gesture this year.

In total, both companies will split the cost of providing 96 gingerbread houses.

The top three best decorated gingerbread houses will receive prizes.

The first prize will be the People's Choice award, while volunteer judges will determine the second and third place winners.

Once the homes have been picked up, decorated and returned to the municipality, the gingerbread houses will be displayed at various retail shops in the community from Dec. 13 to 17.

Each store will have voting cards where the public decides which decorated gingerbread home should be the People's Choice recipient.

The municipality will then collect the houses, at which point they go on display at the Burk's Falls Armour and Ryerson Memorial Arena, which will be the site for a Facebook Live voting event Dec. 20 by the volunteer judges.

In addition to announcing the second and third place finishers, the People's Choice winner will also be announced at the event.

To prepare for the contest, the municipality has been sending letters to various businesses asking if they want to display any of the decorated homes in their shops and how many they would like. Stevens says quite a few businesses have already indicated they're on board.

“We're hoping that businesses can take more than one decorated home because we're going to have a lot,” Stevens said.

“The hope is most can display a minimum of four homes. But they'll be able to take as many as they can fit in their storefronts.”

Stevens says when people are decorating the homes, the decorations have to be edible, since the gingerbread home may be eaten after the contest.

Participants can use toothpicks to hold sections together.

There is no age restriction on who can enter the contest, which is open to all residents of the Almaguin Highlands.

Stevens says it's not finalized yet, but the expected locations where the public can pick up the gingerbread homes to decorate are at the Burk's Falls town office and the Stan Darling Insurance offices in Burk's Falls and Sundridge.

She says by the time the poster launch takes place Nov. 15, the pickup sites will be determined.

Participants will have to give their name and street address to ensure it’s one entry per household.

Stevens also says the value of the prizes are still being determined but will likely take the form of gift cards or vouchers to local businesses in an effort to support local retailers.

Since the People's Choice award will take people into retail shops during December, Stevens hopes people will consider doing some Christmas shopping while in the outlets.

“We want to drive people into those businesses to support them around the holidays but at the same time have something fun to see at the store,” Stevens said.

Stevens says the first gingerbread house decorating contest was well received by the residents with people commenting on the municipal Facebook page that it was “something new and different.”

“So we hope to do this annually as long as the community still wants to be involved with it,” she said.

Full details of the contest will be available on several platforms including the municipal website and Facebook page at poster launch time later this month.

To watch the Facebook Live vote Dec. 20, go to the Burk's Falls Facebook page. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting