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Annual gingerbread house viewing open after 3 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays at Grove Park Inn
Monday, 04 December 2017 23:52

From Staff Reports

The 25th annual National Gingerbread House Competition exhibit is open to the public through Jan. 4 at the Omni Grove Park Inn in North Asheville.

Viewing times — for the public — are after 3 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays.The display of the entries opened Nov. 26.

The inn noted that the aforementioned public viewing schedule excludes holidays and also will be “based on resort capacity.”

While no reservations are needed and there is no admission charge, there is a $20 per vehicle fee for parking — a doubling of the self-parking rate from last year. (See adjoining story for more on the rate jump.)

Once again, the parking fees — in part — will go to a different local nonprofit each week, including United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County, American Legion Baseball Post No. 70, Meals on Wheels of Asheville and Buncombe County, Asheville City Schools Foundation, Children First/Communities in Schools, Asheville Museum of Science and Homeward Bound.

As for the comeptition, there were 170 entries from 17 states across the nation, along with one entry from Ontario, Canada.

The 2017 grand prize-winner was Ann Bailey of Cary, N.C., with “The Three Ghosts,” her rendition of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol.”

Finishing second in the adult category was Glenda Tant of Lebanon, Tenn., with her “Christmas in Venice” entry; and capturing third-place was Beatriz Muller of Innisfil in Ontario, Canada, with her “At Water’s Edge” work.

Winners in the teen category included Gabriella Arthur of Easley, S.C., with “Family,” first place; Courtland High School German 1-3 of Fredericksburg, Va., with “December 23rd,” second place; and Courtland High School German 4 and AP of Fredericksburg, Va., with “A King’s Retreat,” third place.

The youth category winners were Mrs. Choi’s class of Asheville, with “The Dog Daze of School,” first place; Foral and Smith Kids of Greenville, S.C., with “The Balloon Poppers,” second place; Gumdrop Girls of Sherrills Ford, N.C., with “Christmas Over the Rainbow,: third place.

Top finishers in the child category included Coble Adams of Raleigh with “Ginger Baker,” first place; Ms. May’s and Ms. Keena’s Kindergarten Class of Asheville with “The Three Little Pigs,” second place; and Mrs. Leatherwood’s First Grade Class of Black Mountain with “Our Treasures,” third place.

GPI doubles parking rate for public to $20

From Staff Reports

As a result of burgeoning interest in public viewing of the entries in the National Gingerbread House Competition, the Omni Grove Park Inn’recently announced that it has doubled the parking fee for the public — from $10 — to $20 during the  exhibit period.. Half of the fee will be donated to charity. 

Inn officials said the parking fee increase is an effort to consider the comfort and convenience of GPI’s overnight guests, given the major interest shown by the general public. The influx of visitors just to view the houses has resulted in a lack of parking spaces in the inn’s limited parking lots.

“The rise in the parking fee to $20 per vehicle will allow for a greater amount of financial support to reach those in need here at home, and allow us to hire more specific staff to improve and better manage the large influx of cars on property,” Tracey Johnston-Crum, spokeswoman for the Omni Grove Park Inn, told the Asheville Citizen-Times recently.

“Our parking is indeed finite, and we continue to welcome thousands upon thousands of guests from across the nation and from our own community throughout the short six-week period,” Johnston-Crum said. “Through this program, we have donated over $260,000 directly to our local not-for-profit partners.”



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