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 at the Portsmouth Historical Society’s Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center. 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.” So many of you took up the challenge! From your favorite landmarks to your favorite meal, the creative ways in which New Hampshire is represented in cookies and candy is just amazing!
There were so many amazing entries this year that we do not envy the judges’ job at deciding who was the best. We are so grateful to these folks for their hard work!
All the winners in the adult category this year represented real places in New Hampshire in gingerbread format, and there was a TIE for first place!
Built in 1913-14 by industrialist Thomas Plant and his wife Olive, Castle in the Clouds is an Arts and Crafts mansion in the Ossippee Mountains near Moultonborough, NH. Restored and cared for by the Castle Preservation Society, it is on the National Register of Historic Places, and is open to the public.
At the mouth of the Piscataqua River in Kittery Point, Maine, the Wood Island Life Saving Station has stood watch for 112 years. It housed brave “surfmen” that were part of the US Life Saving Service (a forerunner of the US Coast Guard) who would wait with small rowing boats to go out to help mariners in distress in terrible conditions year-round. The Wood Island Life Saving Station Association (WILSSA) formed in 2011 to oppose the station’s demolition and to raise all of the funds and find expertise to undertake a historically accurate restoration.
The multi-generational category, with adults, teens, and children working together, is always full of imagination!
So many teen participants this year!
Edward Francis Searles hired architect Henry Vaughan to design Searles Castle. It is built of cut granite, fieldstone, and dark red sandstone, most of which came from Searles’ own quarries in Pelham, New Hampshire. Completed in 1915, the castle consists of an entrance, a reception hall, a foyer, a dining room, a music room, a sun porch, a library, a grand stairway, a second-floor guest suite, a third-floor guest suite, a second-floor rotunda (or balcony), servants’ rooms, a kitchen, a butler’s pantry, butlers’ rooms, and a master bedroom suite which consists of a master bedroom, a sitting room, a bathroom, and a sunroom. Examples of the fine workmanship are found in the carved oak balcony and the marble fireplaces.
The goal for our 12-and-under category is always to have fun, and these winners certainly had a good time at Story Land and on their summer vacation!
Business or Organization Category
Judges’ Best in Show
Unsurprisingly, we have a TIE for Best in Show as well! AND! you can get a raffle ticket for just $1 and take one of these houses home for a holiday centerpiece!
People’s Choice Awards
Your voice has been heard! Here are this year’s People’s Choice winners!
Most Attention to Detail
Most Creative Building Materials
People’s Best in Show
There are four fabulous houses up for grabs in our raffle! Get a ticket for $1 and you could take one of these houses home for a holiday centerpiece!
Downtown Scavenger Hunt
Pick up a stamp sheet at the Discover Portsmouth Welcome Center, at one of our downtown retail partner locations, or download here!
Visit each of the locations and get a stamp!
Collect 15 of 18 stamps and submit your sheet for a chance to win a prize from one of our partners!