It’s that time again! Join us at Portsmouth Historical Society as we celebrate this sweet season with the 31st Annual Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibition from November 26 through December 22. Once again, everyone is getting a little sugar, as we take the contestant creations to downtown shop windows!
🎵 These are a few of my 603 things 🎶
This year’s theme is our favorite New Hampshire things to go along with our photography exhibition, “NH Now: A Photographic Diary of Life in the Granite State.” We can’t wait to see the gingerbread version of your favorite New Hampshire thing! Of course, the theme is optional. You can make anything you want, as long as it’s all edible!
Get in on the Fun!
- We’ll have “Best in Show” ribbons to give out in tons of categories from our guest community judges and by visitors!
- Enter a raffle to take a gingerbread creation home as your holiday centerpiece!
- Stop by for a “to go” holiday craft kit, while supplies last!
- Get your stamp card filled downtown and you could win prizes!
Call for Entries
This is our biggest community endeavor of the year, and we need YOU! All skill levels are welcome; just have fun!
Register today to enter your gingerbread creations in the contest!
Houses entered in the contest must be delivered to the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center on Saturday November 20th and Sunday November 21st during open hours, 10am to 5pm.
Please note that houses are due BEFORE THANKSGIVING!
We’re all about being fair. Some folks think we go overboard, but you don’t see the disappointed kiddos who lose to houses that break the rules!
- Maximum base size is 15” by 15”. You may NOT attach multiple bases together.
- Entries larger than 15” by 15” will not be accepted.
- Base must be sturdy! Your house will be picked up and moved multiple times during gallery set-up.
- Edible materials only! This includes the “glue” that holds pieces together and support on the inside!
- Entrants will be asked to give their entry a name on drop-off.
- By entering the contest, entrants authorize Portsmouth Historical Society to use their images and images of completed work in promotional materials.
- Registration Deadline: Entries must be registered no later than Monday, November 15.
- Drop-off dates: Registered houses must be delivered to the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center at 10 Middle Street in Portsmouth on Saturday, Nov. 20 and Sunday, Nov. 21, between 10am and 5pm.
- Exhibition dates: The show at Portsmouth Historical Society, as well as the downtown scavenger hunt, will be on display from Friday, November 26, through Wednesday, December 22.
- Opening reception & announcement of judges’ awards: Coinciding with the kickoff of Vintage Christmas in Portsmouth, we will be offering cider and cookies from 5:30 pm to 8:00 pm on Friday, December 3.
- Pickup dates: Those wishing to pick up their gingerbread house when the exhibition is over may do so on Wednesday, December 23 from 10am–5pm, or on Thursday, December 24 from 10am–12pm. Unclaimed houses will be thrown away. (We can’t be inviting mice to stay over the holidays!)
Participants are required to submit entries under one of these categories. Note: If youth and teens are working together without an adult, please choose the Teen category.
- Adult(s) (Age 18 and older)
- Professional (chefs & bakers)
- Multi-Generational (Adults and youths or teens working together)
- Teen or Teen Group (Age 13–17, working without an adult)
- Youth or Youth Group (Age 12 and under working without an adult)
- Gingerbread kits are allowed, provided they use only edible materials
- Plug-in string lights are allowed.
- Battery-operated lights are strongly discouraged as the batteries run out within a week.
- Your entry doesn’t have to be a “house.” We’ve seen boats, cars, books, barns, trees, etc. Anything goes as long as it’s made of edible materials!