Gingerbread Lane Competition Sparkles

For the second year in a row, I have been a judge for Gingerbread Lane, a benefit for the Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired. I feel really privileged to be asked along with many television and radio personalities in town as I walked up and down the Crestwood Shops. I sometimes wonder why I am chosen, but a co-worker tells me that I am the editor of KC Studio so my opinion might hold a little weight.

Well, speaking of weight, the gingerbread creations from some master chefs have volume and heft. I often wonder how these creations are carted from the kitchen to the car and then to the store. Ah, logistics. Anyway, I am honored to judge this event. It’s a treat to see some great creations.

Now I am not going to tell anyone which creation I gave more points to, but there were some standouts. Please remember, I tend to think like a child during this time of the year. Oh, one of the criteria is universal appeal to children and adults. Guess what – I try to see the work with both viewpoints.

One of the first houses to judge was “Spirit of Christmas” House by Nellie Metcalf of Nellie’s Custom Cakes out of Claycomo. As a fellow Northlander, I am pleased to see Metcalf’s work. I quickly spotted the Ghost of Christmas Present on the roof, Jacob Marley’s face as the doorknocker and the Ghost of Christmas Past surrounding a jovial and repentant Scrooge opening his window to embrace Christmas. The back of the gingerbread house featured the Ghost of Christmas Future and the graveyard. It’s a fabulous piece and one that I enjoyed.

“Santa’s Hot Rod” simply brought a smile to my face. Created by Scott Crompton of Phoenix Catering. The intricacies of this sweet ride are worth studying. It is a colorful creation with lots of heart. Or there is the work by chocolatier Rene Bollier. His chocolate house smelled wonderful.

“Santa’s Delivery,” created Hai Davies and James White from Argosy Casino, captured the flavor of Christmas. This was one gingerbread scene where almost every inch had a visual treat to examine — a cat walking the fence, penguins playing, snowmen on the lawn or Santa either coming in for a landing or preparing to head to the next good child’s house.

Needless to say, being a judge for this contest is just plain hard. I was impressed with every chef’s efforts. They are the sweetest representations of Christmas. Of course, having done stories on CCVI and all the good things they do to help low vision and blind children, it’s pretty easy to be a judge and share the word about the good things are going on at CCVI and the Shops at Crestwood. I can’t wait to see what happens next year when the 10th anniversary event rolls around.

Kellie Houx

Kellie Houx is a writer and photographer. A graduate of Park University, she has 20 years of experience as a journalist. As a writer, wife and mom, she values education, arts, family and togetherness.

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