38th Annual Gingerbread Gallery


November 17, 2023 – January 7, 2024


Each year the Erie Canal Museum transforms into a festive 1800’s canal town street scene with gingerbread creations on display in storefront windows. In a typical year, we see over 6,000 visitors during the Gingerbread Gallery! We are now accepting registrations for the 37th Annual Gingerbread Gallery. Click the button below to fill out the entry form.

Gallery Highlights

  • Celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial! Judges will be looking for the best Erie Canal themed creation and will award a ribbon for the winner.
  • Confectioners Competition: Anyone can join! Cash prizes of $300, $200, and $100 are awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The entry fee for this category is only $25.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons are awarded for all categories and will be announced the week of December 19.
  • People’s Choice Award: Chosen by visitors to the Gallery who vote for their favorites. Award is announced around the New Year.

Gingerbread Creation Delivery

Drop-off will be by appointment only between Monday, November 6 and Sunday, November 12, 2023. We will call you after you submit your entry form to schedule a drop-off time.

Creation Rules and Guidelines (download a PDF here)

  • Erie Canal themed submissions are encouraged, but not required. You can find inspiration and examples of buildings, communities, locks, boats, animals and other Canal themes by clicking here.
  • The decision and interpretation of the Creation Rules and Guidelines are at the discretion of the Erie Canal Museum. Our decisions and interpretations are final.
  • Gingerbread creations will be judged in four categories: Confectioners, Youth, Senior, and General. Judging is based on overall appeal, originality, creativity and difficulty.
  • All gingerbread creations must be made from 100% edible materials. Lights are allowed but will be turned off during the judging period.
  • The use of cardboard (with the exception of the base), plastic, glue or any other non-edible materials will disqualify your creation from judging.
  • Please ensure that your creation is proportional to its base and does not exceed 24” x 24” (many of the display cases are smaller than 24” x 24”). Creations exceeding the size limit may not be displayed.

Creation Entry Form

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to be part of the 38th Annual Gingerbread Gallery at the Erie Canal Museum, a Syracuse tradition!
Complete the Entry Form online by clicking here or return the PDF version found here to the Museum no later than Friday, November 3, 2023.
Questions? All questions may be directed to Steve Caraccilo, 315-471-0593 or steve@eriecanalmuseum.org


Upcoming Dates

Call for bakers released: Wednesday, September 27

Entry forms due by: Friday, November 3

Gingerbread drop off: Monday, November 6 – Sunday, November 12

Opening Day: Friday, November 17

Grand Opening: Friday, November 24 (with music from Merry Mischief from 4 – 6 PM)

Family Day: TBA

Judged Winners Announced: Wednesday, December 20

People’s Choice Announced: Tuesday, January 2 

Closing Day: Sunday, January 7

House Pick Up: Monday, January 8 – Saturday, January 15

From November 17 – January 7, admission to the Museum, which includes the Gingerbread Gallery, is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors (65+), $4 for children 3-17, and free for children 2 & under.

Museum Members receive a Family Pass good for admission for up to six people. Join today to receive your Family Pass. You can also join at the Museum when you come to visit the Gingerbread Gallery.


Interested in being a Gingerbread Architect? Subscribe below to receive our call for bakers in September.

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The Erie Canal Museum’s annual Gingerbread Gallery started in 1986 as a one-day gingerbread auction. Its popularity has increased over the years, and it is now a six-week long event featuring dozens of gingerbread creations made by local bakers of all ages! Everyone is invited to participate in the Gingerbread Gallery.

From the Fall 1987 Erie Canal Museum Canal Packet Newsletter:

“On December 13, 1986, over 700 visitors toured the Weighlock Building to view the Museum Gingerbread Gallery and enjoy a day full of holiday entertainment. Choruses, carolers, and choirs of bells provided a musical background for visitors strolling down our nostalgic Gingerbread Lane, lined with storefronts right out of the 1800’s.

“Through the magic of theater set design the Museum’s second floor exhibition gallery became a canal town street complete with toy, curio, floral, and baked goods shops, all trimmed for the holidays. Proudly displayed in the window of each shop was a gingerbread work of art – a house, a train, and gingerbread models of local historic buildings – created by Syracuse’s finest bakers.”