Sweet houses

Greenback teens win Gingerbread House competition at Grove Park Inn

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Greenback High School teacher Merry Spafford has much to be proud of this week. Not only are her students getting ready for their holiday tradition of making gingerbread houses to help the East Tennessee Children’s Hospital Fantasy of Trees, eight of her students have brought home awards from a national competition in Asheville, N.C.

The National Gingerbread House Competition takes place annually at The Grove Park Inn in Asheville, N.C. The number of entries hit a record this year, with more than 400 entries. A field of eight judges deliberated more than four hours to determine winners in three categories -- adult, teens (13-17) and youth (12 and under).

Florida and Illinois took home first place honors in the adult and youth categories, but three teens from Greenback brought home first place in the teens division. In addition, five more contestants from Greenback took second and fourth places.
Winners in the teen division of the contest that attracted entries from 73 teens were Megan McBath, Kayla Tulloch and Marissa Summit. Second place winners were Christen Walker, Crysta Hill and Amy McKee. Winning fourth was Macy Clower.

Emily Spafford won second place in the Youth category.

Suzanne Smith from Mulberry, Florida won first-place in the adult division.

There were a total of 149 Youth, 73 Teen and 178 Adult entries in the 14th Annual National Gingerbread House Competition. The previous record was set in 2004 with 325 entries.

The 2006 National Gingerbread House Competition display and holiday decorations will be open for community viewing Monday through Thursday from Nov. 20 through Jan. 6, 2007. A change from previous years, The Grove Park Inn is partnering with downtown Asheville’s historic Grove Arcade to display the entries. Forty houses were selected by Grove Park Inn’s Visual Arts Manger Joe Hughes. The Grove Arcade, one of Asheville’s architectural jewels, was envisioned by E.W. Grove, the creator of the Grove Park Inn.

Special maps will be available for Grove Park resort guests and visitors so they can see where each of the displays is located throughout the Resort. The youth, teen and adult top ten winners will be located on the lobby levels of the Sammons and Vanderbilt wings.

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