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The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum with Coastal Virginia Magazine and the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association are pleased to announce the inaugural Gingerbread House Contest and Exhibit at the Historic de Witt Cottage.

We are excited to announce a new partnership with Patrick Evans-Hylton, local Gingerbread Guru and publisher of Virginia Eats + Drinks. Patrick brings years of culinary experience to the program along with gingerbread course instruction. To celebrate we are adding a new awards category “The Virginia Eats + Drinks Award” and the criteria is that someone makes a house inspired by Virginia.

Coastal Virginia Magazine Logo

Thank you to our generous sponsor, Coastal Virginia Magazine!

Contest is open to Virginia Beach restaurants, Virginia Beach bakeries, Hampton Roads Culinary Institutes, Hampton Roads College Culinary programs, and Virginia Beach High School Culinary programs.

Only 50 entrants will be accepted. Additional entrants will be added to a waiting list.

Entries must be registered no later than Wednesday, November 10, 2021.

Award categories are:

  • Top People’s Choice Award
  • Most Creative Building Materials
  • Most Attention to Detail
  • Most Whimsical
  • The Virginia Eats + Drinks Award

Gingerbread houses will only be viewable in person at the Historic de Witt Cottage.

Online voting will begin on Saturday, November 20, 2021 and conclude on Sunday, December 12, 2021. Please visit for updates.

Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, December 15, 2021.

  • The 2021 Theme is Holiday Traditions.
  • Appointments for drop off will be scheduled beginning Monday, November 15 – Thursday, November 18, 2021. Gingerbread houses will be on display beginning November 20, 2021.
  • Gingerbread houses must be made entirely of edible materials, including what “glues” pieces together.
  • Pre-made edible gingerbread houses/kits are not allowed.
  • Any decorations must be edible, unwrapped and preferably handmade.
  • Entries cannot use electric power, candles, or heat-producing features.
  • Houses must be freestanding and securely mounted on a base that is sturdy enough to facilitate carrying and moving of the entry.  The base can be no larger than 16” x 16” in any dimension.  Entries (unless pre-approved) that exceed these dimensions will not be accepted due to space constraints.
  • Because the exhibit continues for multiple weeks, staff will not provide repairs. Entrants will be notified if their structure needs repairs.

Appointment for pickup will begin Monday, December 13, 2021. No entries may be removed prior to the 13th. Any entry not picked up prior to Friday, December 17, 2021 will be disposed of.

Any entry may be used by The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, Historic de Witt Cottage, Coastal Virginia Magazine/Vista Graphics and the Virginia Beach Restaurant Association for promotional publicity, photographic, or any other purpose without further notice.

For more information, call Martha Davenport at 757-437-8432 or visit the website at

Gingerbread House Contest & Exhibit Registration