It was a merry weekend for gingerbread enthusiasts in Dedham.
The snowy weather on Saturday was not enough to put off the first annual Gingerbread House Christmas Festival, hosted by Dedham's Fellowship Church at 47 Milton St.
The event featured food, drinks, story readings, craft activities, a sing-along led by Pastor Stephen Johnson and Rabbi Nathan Joiner on trumpets, and also the judging of 13 gingerbread house entries as part of the event's gingerbread house competition.
"For our first year, we were amazed at the response and number of entries," Johnson said in a statement. "Given the enthusiastic response, we'll definitely be hosting the competition and party again next year, inspired by the joy we experienced on this fantastic inaugural event."
Prizes were awarded to the following recipients in three categories:
- Adult (aged 18 and older): Georgia and Kevin Bisbee for "Candy Land". Price included a $125 gift certificate to Isabella Restaurant in Dedham Square.
- Teen (aged 13-17): Nate Reynolds for "Home for the Holidays". Prize included an $85 gift card to Best Buy.
- Youth (aged 12 and younger): Christopher Caraway for "Candy Town House". Prize included a $50 "Bunny Bucks" certificate to the Blue Bunny Bookstore in Dedham Square.
All pre-registered and accepted entries also received a $10 Ginger Betty Goodie Box, featuring the bakery's signature gingerbread cookie treats.
Beth Veneto of Ginger Betty Bakery in Quincy, as well as State Rep. Paul McMurtry (D-Dedham) and Selectman Jim MacDonald served as judges of the competition. Entries were judges on five criteria: overall appearance, originality and creativity, difficulty, precision and consistency of theme.