The Erie Canal Museum in downtown Syracuse invites bakers of all ages to register for the 36th Annual Gingerbread Gallery, a display of confectionery creations that celebrates the holidays and the Erie Canal.

The first Gingerbread Gallery at the Erie Canal Museum celebrated the architecture of local buildings. It was a one-day event on December 13, 1986 with over 700 visitors. Every year since 1986, the Museum’s second floor Weighlock Gallery is transformed into a festive 1800’s canal town street scene with gingerbread creations on display in storefront windows. The event has grown into a seven-week long holiday celebration with around 30 gingerbread creations made by locally by professional and amateur bakers.

Gingerbread has been baked in Europe for centuries and can take on the form of a thin, crisp cookie or “snap” cake or bread. It was the German fairy tale Hansel & Gretel that popularized the creation of gingerbread houses. These elaborate decorations have become traditions during the holiday season. In architecture and design, “gingerbread” is a term used to describe elaborately detailed embellishment, found on many houses throughout the Canal corridor.

Find the complete rules and entry form at Works may be submitted in Individual/Family/Group, Youth, Senior, and Confectioner categories. A $25 fee is required for submissions in the Confectioners category. There is no other fee to participate in this community exhibit. Everyone who enters a creation in the Gingerbread Gallery receives a complimentary family pass that admits up to six people to the exhibit.

To register for the exhibit, complete and return the entry form no later than Thursday, November 4, 2021.

Works must be dropped off at the Museum, 318 Erie Boulevard East, by appointment only between Monday, November 8 – Sunday, November 14. We will call you after you submit your entry form to schedule a drop-off time.

Santa’s Canal by Cassie Bunker (2nd Place in the Confectioners Category in the 2020 35th Annual Gingerbread Gallery

This year’s Gingerbread Gallery opens on Friday, November 19 at 10 AM. Admission to the Museum, which includes the Gingerbread Gallery, will be $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), $4 for children 3-17, and free for children 2 & under. The Museum is open daily from 10 AM-4 PM, with the exceptions for holidays. The hours on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve are 10 AM – 2 PM. The Museum is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day. Complete information on the 2021 Gingerbread Gallery can be found at

Established in 1962, the Erie Canal Museum shares 200 years of Erie Canal history through interactive displays, original artifacts, and public programs. Exhibits include a full-size replica canal boat, the history of Erie Canal commerce and communities, the award-winning Locktender’s Garden, and the 1850 National Register Weighlock Building. The Erie Canal Museum is open daily from 10 AM to 4 PM. Visit to learn more about the Museum and our programs.