ASHEVILLE, NC (WBTV) - It is a Gingerbread Christmas at the Grove Park Inn, and thousands of visitors are taking notice. "This is definitely the place to be, not only dozens and dozens of gorgeous Gingerbread houses, but lots of beautiful decorations," said Deborah Potter, PR director.
There are villages, barns, Santa's, cabins, and eggs on display. It is not your average gingerbread.
"These are gingerbread mansions," one visitor remarked.
"It's just like going into a winter wonderland with so many types of displays and snow," said Gaelyn Chadwick. She traveled all the way from Tennessee with her daughter for the event. "I really think it's awesome.There's a lot of them I see and I think, how come they didn't get a ribbon, they're so beautiful!"
Seeing all of the gingerbread houses inspired me to make a masterpiece of my own, so I headed down to the kitchen to take a lesson from one of the experts. First the gingerbread is sheeted, then cut, and finally baked. Then comes my favorite time, the frosting.
Executive chef, Denny Trantham had the hard task of judging this year's houses. I asked him just how good the entries have to be.
"They have to be good. They have to be so good that the judges will go back and take a second look at them," he said.
Looks like my cookies won't make the cut. The judging criteria is tough. "We look for consistency, we look for professionalism," he said.
It's a lot of talent, free of charge, for all to enjoy.
START: [1-99] Julian Price Pl, Charlotte, NC 28208 US
1. Start out going NORTH on JULIAN PRICE PL toward W MOREHEAD ST/US-29.
2. Take the 1st RIGHT onto W MOREHEAD ST/US-29. (go 0.39 miles)
3. Take the 1st LEFT onto FREEDOM DR/NC-27 W. (go 2.14 miles)
4. Merge onto I-85 S via the ramp on the LEFT toward GASTONIA. (go 17.81 miles)
5. Merge onto US-321 N via EXIT 17 toward DALLAS/LINCOLNTON/GASTON COL. (go 32.48 miles)
6. Take the I-40 exit, EXIT 43A-B, toward STATESVILLE/ASHEVILLE. (go 0.18 miles)
7. Take the exit on the LEFT toward I-40 W/ASHEVILLE. (go 0.41 miles)
8. Merge onto I-40 W via EXIT 43B toward ASHEVILLE. (go 69.86 miles)
9. Merge onto I-240 W via EXIT 53B toward ASHEVILLE. (go 3.99 miles)
10. Take the US-70 E/CHARLOTTE ST exit, EXIT 5B, toward US-74-A E/NC-694/DOWNTOWN. (go 0.28 miles)
11. Turn RIGHT onto CHARLOTTE ST. (go 0.73 miles)
12. Turn RIGHT onto MACON AVE. (go 1.18 miles)
13. 290 MACON AVE. (go 0 miles)
END: Grove Park Inn, 290 Macon Ave, Asheville, NC 28804 US
TOTAL ESTIMATED TIME: 2 hours 15 minutes | DISTANCE: 129.49 miles