35th Annual Gingerbread Gallery

November 20, 2020 – January 10, 2021

Each year the Erie Canal Museum transforms into a festive 1800’s canal town street scene with gingerbread creations on display in storefront windows. Last year’s 34th Annual Gingerbread Gallery welcomed over 6,000 visitors! We are now accepting registrations for the 35th Annual Gingerbread Gallery! Click the button below to fill out the entry form.

New This Year: We will create a Virtual Gingerbread Gallery that will include close ups of each entry and the experience of walking through the village. All bakers will receive access to the Virtual Gallery, which will also be available to the public for a small fee.

Gallery Highlights

  • Celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial! Judges will be looking for the best Erie Canal themed creation and awarding a ribbon for the winner.
  • Confectioners Competition: Cash prizes of $400, $200 and $100 for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The entry fee for this category is $25.
  • 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place ribbons for all categories.
  • People’s Choice Award: Chosen by visitors to the Gallery who vote for their favorites.
  • All Gingerbread submissions receive one complimentary Family Pass good for admission for up to six people and access to the Virtual Gingerbread Gallery.

Virtual Gingerbread Gallery
Inspired by COVID-19 restrictions, we will create a video displaying all entries, making the Gallery accessible to anyone who is not able or comfortable visiting in person. We’ll make this professional video available for a small fee. If, for any reason, the Museum is required to shut down again during the run of the Gingerbread Gallery, we will continue offering the virtual experience.

Gingerbread Creation Delivery
Drop-off will be from November 9 – 14 by appointment only. We will contact 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 visiting eriecanalmuseum.org/gingerbread/inspiration.
  • 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 five categories: Youth, Family, Senior, Confectioners, and Corporate. 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 35th 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 Monday, November 2, 2020.
Questions? All questions may be directed to Steve Caraccilo, 315-471-0593 or steve@eriecanalmuseum.org

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.”