The Boothbay region is already filled with the warm glow of holiday lights beaming from residents, businesses, at the Botanical Gardens and around the Boothbay Common, and now kitchens throughout the region are beginning to warm up and give off their own glow in preparation for the 15th annual Gingerbread Spectacular at the Opera House. The annual exhibit of gingerbread houses and castles is open Dec. 16-19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily.
Both novice and more experienced bakers have shared that they plan to design and build a gingerbread structure to enter in this year’s Spectacular. Those interested in entering the annual event are asked to contact the Opera House at 207-633-6855 to register. There is no fee to enter and very few rules other than that the structure must be edible. “Frosted and decorated shoe boxes are not allowed,” notes master gingerbread house builder Kevin Kiley. Entries must be delivered on Wednesday, Dec. 15.
Prizes will be awarded for not only the Most Spectacular, but also for the Most Hilarious, The Largest, Best Representation of a Local Landmark, Best Traditional Gingerbread House Design, and Best Youth Entry. Each year the judging team has awarded additional prizes at their discretion. The 2021 judges include Brenda Blackman from The First National Bank, Lisa Kristoff the Arts & Entertainment Editor at the Boothbay Register, Kim Martin, owner of Eventide Gourmet Shop, Cindy Steane from the Lafayette Group, and John Webster of Ornes Candy Shop.
Set against the beautifully decorated Opera House, The Friends of the Opera House will be selling an array of pies, cakes, cookies and holiday specialties throughout the Gingerbread Spectacular. They promise a wide assortment of beautifully wrapped baked goods, ready for immediate eating or giving this season. Please bring cash as they cannot accept credit cards.
There is no admission fee, but donations are gratefully accepted. Many of the gingerbread creations will also be available for sale by way of the silent auction that will run throughout the event. Financial support for the event has also been provided by The First National Bank.
Masks are required to be worn properly while inside the Opera House during the Spectacular. Those under age 2 are exempt from the mask requirement.
Free parking is available at the Opera House parking lot, 86 Townsend Ave., Boothbay Harbor.