Gingerbread Build Off

Saturday December 8, 2018

10:00am - 4:30pm
Open to the public and free for spectators

Hermann Square
900 Smith Street
Houston, TX 77002

Event Underwriter

Icing on the Roof Sponsors

Candy Cane Sponsors

Gumdrop Sponsors

Holiday Helper Sponsors

Community Partners

Participating Food Trucks

Supported by

Competition Rules

Materials and Tools

  1. Teams will be provided one 48” round presentation/ work table, one 8’ x 30” work table, plastic covers, two chairs, and a 10’ x 10’ work area.
  2. Each team will receive a 24”x 24” foil wrapped base.
  3. Teams may bring their own base but it may not exceed 24” x 36” in size. The base may not be pre-decorated or prepped in any fashion other than wrapped in foil.
  4. Each team will be provided with two (approx.) 23” x 17” gingerbread sheets (two standard baking sheets), approx. 2lbs of plain structural icing, peppermint candies and canes, redhots, and gumdrops. Teams that register before October 31st will be provided with one extra sheet of gingerbread and  two extra pounds of frosting.
  5. Teams may bring their own materials including gingerbread. Gingerbread may not be precut into shapes prior to the competition. It must be in rectangular sheets.
  6. All construction materials remaining in, a part of, or attached to the final structure and base for presentation must be edible.
  7. Materials may not be preassembled. All construction must take place on competition day during the official competition time.
  8. Competitors should bring any tools and kitchen utensils they wish to use. Any construction tools determined to be dangerous or disruptive to general competition by event officials will not be allowed.
  9. Electricity will be available on site at community stations (read: not at team work tables), but not guaranteed and must be shared by competitors. Teams cannot use generators.
  10. Non-edible lighting may be placed inside gingerbread structures for judging and exhibition display. Candles will not be lit during the run of the exhibition.


  1. If you have children on your team (12years old or younger), there must be a ratio of one legal adult (18 or older) to every two children on your team.
  2. Each team will receive 5 competition aprons. High School teams will receive 10 aprons. All competing team members must wear a competition apron. Additional aprons may be ordered for $10 each.
  3. Team check-in begins at 9:00am on December 8th.
  4. Teams will receive their gingerbread, base, materials, and table assignment at check-in.
  5. Competition starts at 10:00am and ends at 3:00pm. Judging will take place at 3:00pm with awards at 4:00pm
  6. Each team may present one printed 8.5” x 11” page of information to the judges about their concept. The judges are not required to review or consider this information. Teams are not required to present this information.
  7. Environment and presentation of structures may be considered by judges.
  8. Awards will be given in the following categories:
    Grand Prix de Show (Best Overall Gingerbread Structure)
    + 1st and 2nd Runner Up
    Best Architectural Icon
    Tallest Standing Structure
    Best Holiday Themed
    Best Non-Holiday Themed
    Best Houston-centric
    Most Creative Interpretation of Materials
    Public Favorite
    High School Challenge
    (High School teams are eligible to win all categories)
  9. Teams are asked to assist with transporting their finished structures to Architecture Center Houston following the awards ceremony. Volunteers will be on hand at the park and ArCH to assist. All winners must participate in the exhibition. Non-placing entries can take their creations home if they do not want to exhibit them. Exhibited structures will be available for pick up on December 18 before noon. Gingerbread structures not picked up by noon, will be disposed of on December 18 at 1pm. (Architecture Center Houston will be closed December 23 - January 1).

Sponsors with Event Presence

  1. Sponsors will be provided an 8’ x 30” table for display with plastic table cover.
  2. Sponsor tables may not be moved without an event official’s approval.
  3. Sponsors with teams will be provided a  team site for competition.
  4.  Click here to register your sponsorship. Contact Aleks Savitski at with any questions.

The Park

  1. No alcoholic beverages are allowed in the park.
  2. No glass containers
  3. Street parking is metered in the area, recommended parking is at the Theater District Parking Garage.
  4. All trash must be placed in the bins provided. No trash or recycling should be left at your site at the end of the day. Volunteers will assist your team with disposal.